Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

VARIETY is reporting that Lee Daniels would like to direct a new film about beloved jazz icon Billie Holiday and wants singer Andra Day as his leading lady.

The creator of Empire and STAR is reportedly in talks to direct a project titled—Billie—and wants to pair the “Rise Up” vocalist with Get Out star and Atlanta actor Lakeith Stanfield.

Daniels would team up with Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Top Dog/Underdog) as the writer along with Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum as producers.

Music legend Diana Ross portrayed Holiday in the iconic 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues along with Billy Dee Williams. Her performance earned her critical acclaim as an actress along with an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award.

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald portrayed the singer on Broadway and for HBO in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

Day performed her version of Holiday’s classic “Strange Fruit” last year during the Global Citizen Festival.

While I do have a lot of questions about this project, I am more than confident that Day would pour her heart and soul into this role and of course the music. She received a standing ovation recently following her performance of “I Put a Spell on You” during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s induction of Nina Simone. She could very well be that singer who introduces Ms. Holiday to a new generation of fans.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

In the meantime, check out Ms. Ross’ performance of Holiday’s classic, “My Man.”

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