The United States vs. Billie Holiday: Cast, Plot, Release Date & All Updates

‘The United States vs Billie Holiday’ is an upcoming American biographical drama music film directed by Lee Daniels and based on the book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari with a screenplay by Suzan-Lori Parks.

New Slate Ventures, Lee Daniels Entertainment, Roth Kirschenbaum Films are producing with Jordan Fudge, Lee Daniels, Pamela Oas Williams, Tucker Tooley, Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum.

Executive producers include Hilary Shor, Jeremy Allen, Patty Long, Johann Hari, Cassian Elwes, Mark Bomback and Dennis Stratton.

‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ Cast

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  • Andra Day as Billie Holiday
  • Garrett Hedlund as Harry J. Anslinger
  • Trevante Rhodes as Jimmy Fletcher
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Roslyn
  • Natasha Lyonne as Tallulah Bankhead
  • Dana Gourrier as Sadie
  • Evan Ross as Sam Williams
  • Erik LaRay Harvey as Monroe
  • Melvin Gregg as Joe Guy
  • Miss Lawrence as Miss Freddy
  • Rob Morgan as McKay
  • Tone Bell as John Levy
  • Kwasi Songui as Working Class Man
  • Tristan D. Lalla as Mr. Jordon Green
  • Mark Antony Krupa as Drunk White Guy
  • Alain Goulem as Ed Fishman
  • Jeff Corbett as Congressman Thomas

‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ Plot

The legendary Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe, all while the Federal Department of Narcotics targeted her with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair.

Inspired by her life story, The United States vs. Billie Holiday intimately examines her struggles with addiction, fame and heartbreaking love.

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Billie Holiday helped shape American popular music with her voice and unique style, but, one song in particular has become her greatest legacy — “Strange Fruit.”

The song paints an unflinching picture of racial violence, and it was an unexpected hit. But singing it brought serious consequences.

Daniels spoke on bringing Holiday’s story to the masses back in August at this year’s The Root Institute saying:

“I was shocked, I thought she was just a drug addict and a singer. I didn’t know that she was a civil rights leader, that’s she’s probably one of our first civil rights leaders. She sang ‘Strange Fruit’ and the government didn’t want her to sing [that song.] Nobody else was singing that song. It’s a fascinating story about a woman who happened to be addicted to and struggled with drugs, but heroes are all kinds. We think that just because you’re a drug addict, you can’t be a hero, too. If I were her, I would’ve tripped too if the government wouldn’t let me sing a song.”

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Filming Locations
Montreal, Québec, Canada

‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ Release date: When is it coming out?

In July 2020, Paramount Pictures acquired distribution rights to the film. It was previously scheduled for February 12, 2021, but in November 2020 was moved two weeks.

It is currently scheduled for a theatrical release by Paramount on February 26, 2021, in time for this year’s Oscar season eligibility.

Final words

So, “The United States vs Billie Holiday” is coming on February 26, 2021. Are you ready to watch it?  Do, share your thoughts about it in the comments section given at the end of this post.

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