Hulu has released the first trailer from the upcoming biographical drama The United States vs Billie Holiday.
The film, based on the popular book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, has been directed by Lee Daniels and stars the likes of Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund. Natasha Lyonne, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and more.
The story, originally told by Johann Hari, has been adapted into a screenplay by Suzan-Lori Parks and follows the Federal Bureau of Narcotics who launched an undercover sting operation against jazz singer Billie Holiday.
“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,” Lee Daniels said in a statement.”
“Hulu releasing this film [in the US] 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.”
The film, which was originally due to be released through Paramount Pictures, has since changed hands and has been acquired by the Disney-owned streaming platform, will be available next month on February 26 in the US and March in the UK.
Day, taking on her first film role, has left no stone unturned in her efforts to portray Holiday to the best of her ability: “The voice was a big part of it,” she previously explained. “I look at her voice as sort of like a scroll and on it is written every point of trauma, every victory, every hit, every time she slammed, every time she did a speedball, every time she got up there in the midst of terror and sang ‘Strange Fruit,’ every time police shot into her car, every time they tried to kill her or put her in prison, every prison stint, every day in the brothel, her mother’s death, all the cigarettes, all the alcohol, everything is written onto the scroll of her voice.
“It really actually helped me drop into her more,” Day added. “I almost looked at her voice as a character in and of itself.”
For now, see the trailer, below.