Lee Daniels Lines Up Billie Holiday Biopic; Andra Day And Lakeith Stanfield May Star

With Fox series' Empire and Star, Lee Daniels has found the acclaim on the small screen that has mostly eluded him on the big. It's been five years since he directed The Butler, and now he appears to be ready to get back behind the camera for Billie, a biopic on legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday.

Variety reports Daniels will direct and produce the film which has a script by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Suzan-Lori Parks. "Rise Up" singer/songwriter Andra Day is in talks to play Holiday, with Altanta's Lakeith Stanfield also eyed for the male lead.

Holiday, also known as "Lady Day", was known for her strong, improvisational vocal style heavily influenced by jazz instrumentalists. She broke out in the Harlem jazz scene of the early 1930s and would go on to perform with all of the era's greats. But Holliday also lived a fast, turbulent life and it was her alcoholism that led to an early death in 1959 at the age of 44. Hollywood previously told the story of her life in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues starring Diana Ross, as well as the 1986 play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

The hope is to get production started by the end of the year.