Hulu is concluding a domestic distribution rights deal for “United States vs. Billie Holiday,” a move likely to allow the drama premiere in time for Oscar consideration.
Directed by Lee Daniels and starring Andra Day as a legendary jazz and blues singer, CAA Media Finance bought on streaming services. The film was originally set in Paramount Pictures, but since most U.S. theaters were closed due to the coronavirus, it was difficult to come up with a viable way to distribute the film in the traditional way. Paramount won domestic film rights at auction at this year’s Cannes, but apparently the sale was never concluded. That may be the case, but Paramount prepared the promotional material and supervised the re-recordings.
The deal gives Hulu a prime nominee for the Oscars at a time when streaming services such as Netflix, Apple and Amazon are looking for Oscars. Dan’s work has earned many awards, while Daniels was previously nominated for directing and producing the film “Precious”.
“United States v. Billie Holiday” tells how the singer’s career was derailed after she was targeted by the Federal Narcotics Department. The holiday was the subject of a secret stingy operation led by a federal agent with whom she had a tumultuous love affair.
The film’s cast also includes Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. “United States vs. Billie Holiday” was originally scheduled to hit theaters on February 26, 2021. Hulu’s original films include “Palm Springs,” “Big Time Adolescence,” “I’m Greta” and “Bad Hair.”