Oscar-winning actress Regina King is set to star in a new biopic based on the life of America’s first Black congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm. Being written and directed by John Ridley, King will not only star in the project, but also serve as a co-producer of the film along with her sister, Reina King, under their Royal Ties Productions company and Participant Media.
With the project being scheduled to start production later this year, a newly released statement shared that the film is said to give “an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most ground-breaking political leaders of our time.” If you didn’t know, in addition to being a pioneer as the country’s first Black congresswoman, Chisholm also made history during her 1972 presidential run as the first Black major-party candidate, and the first woman to run for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. The Brooklyn native is remembered most for her inspiring and innovative work, which continues to impact the lives of many aspiring politicians and Black women today.
“Shirley Chisholm’s fearless determination has been an inspiration to so many of us, and with this film we hope to inspire many generations to come,” King said in a press release for the film, noting that the project is a long time coming for all involved. Speaking of the film’s director and the people helping make the movie a reality, the actress added, “To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter.”
When speaking of the actress’s contribution to the role and film, Ridley added, “Regina’s passion for bringing a complete and very human portrait of Shirley to life has been evident since literally the day we first met. I’m very thankful to both Regina and Reina trusting me to partner in telling the story of this truly remarkable individual.”
Shirley isn’t the first time the iconic councilwoman and activist’s life has been portrayed for major audiences, and it’s not the only one coming to viewers soon. Alongside King’s new project, Chisholm is also being depicted by Danai Gurira in an additional film in the works titled The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, a role previously set to be played by Viola Davis. Additionally, the politician was recently depicted by Uzo Aduba in Hulu’s Mrs. America.