With “Bohemian Rhapsody” — the movie biopic of “Queen” and its frontman Freddie Mercury — opening in US theaters November 2, the life of another music legend could soon make an appearance on the big screen with Lee Daniels helming the project.
The “Empire” series creator could have another music-themed project in his sights. Indeed, Variety reports that Lee Daniels is in talks to direct a Billie Holiday movie biopic called “Billie.”
R ‘n’ B star Andra Day is reportedly being eyed for the title role, possibly joined by Lakeith Stanfield (“Get Out”) as the male lead. The cast is yet to be finalized and the film is still in search of a studio to produce the picture. Still, according to Variety, there’s hope that “Billie” will start shooting before the end of the year with a script penned by renowned screenwriter Suzan-Lori Parks.
Billie Holiday (1915-1959), also known as “Lady Day,” was an American jazz singer considered one of the greatest artists of her time. Her career, which spanned three decades, inspired many artists and musicians on the jazz scene and beyond.
This isn’t the first time that the movie world has celebrated the life and career of Billie Holiday. In 1972, Diana Ross played the jazz icon in “Lady Sings the Blues,” directed by Sidney J. Furie, earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. This was followed by a 1986 Broadway musical called “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.”
“Billie” would see Lee Daniels return to big-screen directing five years after his last film, “The Butler,” released in 2013, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. He will also return with another installment of “Empire,” renewed for a fifth season at Fox.