Paramount has acquired Lee Daniels’ new film The United States Vs. Billie Holiday in an eight-figure deal.
The United States Vs. Billie Holiday will depict the legendary Jazz singer’s involvement in a sting operation launched by the Federal Department of Narcotics. The film’s production began back in October 2019 and is now in post-production, according to Vulture. The outlet reports that the movie was produced by New Slate Ventures, Lee Daniels Entertainment, and Roth Kirschenbaum Films with Jordan Fudge, Lee Daniels, Pamela Oas Williams, Tucker Tooley, Joe Roth, and Jeff Kirschenbaum.
“With the world’s eyes forced to look at the centuries-old oppression of Black people, I hope The United States vs. Billie Holiday will add to this important conversation by shining a light on systemic racism and social injustice,” said Daniels when the film was first announced as part of the Cannes Virtual Market. “I also feel that in this time of great reckoning, it is essential we celebrate the life and artistry of an unsung Civil Rights warrior, Billie Holiday.”
The film is a part of an eight-figure deal following a competitive auction on the Cannes Virtual Market. The script was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Susan-Lori Parks and is set to star #AndraDay as Holiday. The film will also feature co-stars #TrevanteRhodes, #GarrettHedlund, #NatashaLyonne, and #DaVineJoyRandolph.
This is Daniels’ first film in almost 10 years, and the deal with Paramount comes after a tug-of-war battle between studios, including Focus Features, Sony, and 101 Studios.