Plus, hear a preview of Andra Day singing “Strange Fruit.”
Hulu has released the official trailer for The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which doubles as a great way to tell you this Lee Daniels movie is heading to Hulu. Back in November 2020, we unveiled scads of new images from Daniels’ next movie. The majority of the new images revealed Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day‘s transformation into the iconic Billie Holiday. As it turns out, Day’s transformation was just the first of many great revelations about this new movie.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday trailer teases a timely, gripping story with its spotlight firmly focused on Holiday. Rather than take an all-encompassing biopic-style approach to Holiday’s life and fame, United States vs. Billie Holiday zooms in on the singer’s life in the 1940s. This period of time saw the federal government target and arrest her in their war on drugs in America. The federal investigation into Holiday’s drug use overlaps with the singer’s growing stardom and her fight to sing “Strange Fruit,” a song about lynching in the South, publicly.
In addition to the trailer, Hulu also shared a statement from Daniels on his new movie: “Whether you are new to the story and legacy of Billie Holiday or know every note she ever sang, I do hope our celebration of this complex woman does justice to a great musical legend and civil rights activist whose artistry resonates as well today, as it did 80 years ago. Hulu releasing this film and giving it a platform to be seen nationwide is a blessing, because as recent events reveal, our country has much work to do in fulfilling its promise of a more perfect union.”
Day appears to rise to the occasion of playing Holiday in her biggest onscreen role to date. Luckily, Day will be surrounded by a top-notch cast, which includes Trevante Rhodes, Natasha Lyonne, Tyler James Williams, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Garrett Hedlund, and Rob Morgan. Daniels directs United States vs. Billie Holiday from a screenplay penned by Suzan-Lori Parks.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday premieres on Hulu on February 26. Watch the official trailer below. For more, find out what’s coming to Hulu in January.
Here’s the official synopsis for The United States vs. Billie Holiday:
The legendary Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe. Beginning in the 1940’s in New York City, the federal government targeted Holiday in a growing effort to escalate and racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial and heart-wrenching ballad, “Strange Fruit.” Led by Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels and introducing Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day, ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ unapologetically presents the icon’s complicated, irrepressible life. Screenplay writer Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, pens this intimate tale of a fierce trailblazer whose defiance through music helped usher in the civil rights movement. NAACP Image Award nominee Trevante Rhodes and Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne co-star along with Garrett Hedlund, Miss Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Evan Ross, Tyler James Williams, Tone Bell, and Erik LaRay Harvey.
The movie will be a big-screen adaptation of YA novel ‘Keeper of the Lost Cities.’
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