Netflix gets rights to Lee Daniels horror film, Andra Day will star

Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close and Aunjanue Ellis will also star in the untitled horror film.

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Lee Daniels has been shopping a new horror film and Netflix has emerged as the buyer. The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker will direct and write the untitled project, which will star Andra Day, as reported by Deadline.

Seven different studios engaged in a bidding war for the rights of the film, including MGM and Miramax. Netflix ultimately defeated the studios with a package closed at an estimated $65 million. Lee Daniels Empire Finale
Lee Daniels attends the TIME 100 Gala 2019 Lobby Arrivals at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TIME)

Along with Day, Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and three-time Emmy winner Glenn Close are also set to star in the film, as well as Aunjanue Ellis, Rob Morgan and Caleb McLaughlin. Pam Williams and Tucker Tooley will produce alongside Daniels.

Tooley and Daniels have collaborated on projects in the past with Tooley producing Daniels’ debut film, Shadowboxer, and his most recent film, The United States vs. Billie Holiday. They also co-produced the 2020 Netflix film, Concrete Cowboys, starring Idris Elba, together.

Daniels has worked closely with Day before as well. The two-time Grammy-nominated singer made her acting debut in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, a biopic about the celebrated jazz singer and the battle over her political song, “Strange Fruit.”

Day received a 2021 Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and won the 2021 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role – Drama.

L-R: Lee Daniels, Audra Day, Caleb McLaughlin (Getty Images)

Day will play an Indiana mother whose children become demonically possessed. The film is said to be about an exorcism, inspired by a real-life case, involving Gary, Indiana mother Latoya Ammons and her three children.

It was reported that Ammons and her children began levitating inside their home, along with other strange behaviors. Numerous witnesses, including local police and doctors, testified that the occurrences actually happened.

Ammons optioned her story for a movie and originally pegged Relativity Media to produce it. However, that fell through when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. From there, Tooley, a former executive at Relativity, acquired the lapsed rights for the film. Daniels rewrote the script from previous versions penned by David Coggeshall and Elijah Bynum.

The film will begin production later this year.

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