Shirley Chisholm
U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York City answers questions during a news conference prior to a lecture at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill. (Finley/AP/Shutterstock)

First Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to be Subject of a New Biopic Produced by and Starring Regina King

Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress in 1968. In 1972, she became the first African American candidate from a major party to run for President of the United States, as well as the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. And now, the trailblazing politician, educator and author is going to be the subject of a major Hollywood film based on her life.

Regina King
Regina King arrives at the Oscars, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
92nd Academy Awards – Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA – 09 Feb 2020 (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

Variety’s Angelique Jackson has reported that multiple award-winning actress Regina King is set to star in and produce a new film titled Shirley that will be based on Chisholm’s remarkable and historic career.

According to Jackson, “The film, produced by Participant, will be written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker John Ridley, with production expected to begin later this year.” 

Umberto Gonzalez of The Wrap reported that the film will center Chisholm’s “dynamic presidential campaign.” He writes that “Based on her life story rights through an exclusive agreement with the Chisholm Estate, the film [will offer] an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most groundbreaking political leaders of our time during a seminal period in modern American history.”

In a statement announcing the film, King said “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.”

Shirley will add to what is already becoming a very good year for King. She landed her fourth Emmy for HBO’s Watchmen and made her feature directorial debut with One Night in Miami. That film is already in contention for a number of awards and could help King to become the first Black woman nominated for best director at the Academy Awards.

 

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