After making her directorial debut, Regina King is stepping back in front of the camera. The Oscar winner will portray Shirley Chisholm, the first Black congresswoman and the first Black candidate for president, in the upcoming biopic Shirley. John Ridley, who won an Oscar for his 12 Years a Slave screenplay, is penning the script and directing.
Production is expected to begin later this year, according to The Wrap. The story will focus on Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign. The film is based on the congresswoman’s life story rights and will be made through an exclusive agreement with her estate for an “intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait” of Chisholm’s historic career and legacy.
“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 statement to The Wrap.
King, whose film One Night in Miami recently earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations, will still be involved behind the scenes. She’ll produce, along with her sister, Reina King of Royal Ties Productions. Jeff Skoll (The Help, Judas and the Black Messiah) and Anikah McLaren (Brokeback Mountain, Judas and the Black Messiah) are executive producers.
The Watchmen star is the latest actress to portray Chisholm, following Uzo Aduba, who won an Emmy for her performance in FX and Hulu’s Mrs. America, and Danai Gurira, who’ll portray the politician in Cherien Dabis’s The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, which is still in production.
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