First Look: Andra Day As Billie Holiday In Lee Daniels’ Biopic On The Iconic Jazz Singer

Lee Daniels hasn’t directed a feature film since 2013’s The Butler, but it’s not as if he’s been snoozing on the couch. Daniels headed to TV and launched a pair of hit shows, Empire and Star, while developing a Richard Pryor biopic that never got off the ground. But now Daniels is actually back behind the camera for The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which is more than just a typical drama about the famous jazz singer and activist.

Vanity Fair has our first look at Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day as Billie Holiday, with emphasis on the glamour and style that surrounded her at all times. The film also stars Moonlight breakout Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyone, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph.

We’re seeing a number of films lately about the FBI and the targeted investigations and smear campaigns they launched against celebrities with political messages. This is another, with the feds targeting Holiday for her drug issues, hounding her literally until the time of her death in 1959 at the age of 44.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday is set to open on February 12th 2021. We’ll see if that date sticks.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.