Paramount has nabbed the North American rights to The United States vs. Billie Holiday, directed by Lee Daniels and scripted by Suzan-Lori Parks. The rights were up for grabs at the recent Cannes Market, which was virtual this year.
According to Deadline, 4 minutes of the film was shown, resulting in a bidding war between Paramount, Focus Features, Sony and 101 Studios. The film, which stars Andra Day and Trevante Rhodes, expected to be a major awards season player.
The film will tell the story of Holiday (Day)’s career, particularly the portion of her life when she became the target of the Federal Department of Narcotics. The leader of the sting operation against Holiday was her lover, Black federal agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes).
Natasha Lyonne, Garrett Hedlund, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Rob Morgan, Erik LaRay Harvey, Dana Gourrier, Evan Ross, Miss Lawrence, Tristan D. Lalla and Melvin Gregg also star. Lakeith Stanfield was once attached to Rhodes’ role.