John Ridley will write and direct the biopic about the first Black U.S. congresswoman.
A longtime dream of Regina King‘s is finally coming to fruition.
The Oscar-winning actress will portray Shirley Chisholm, the first Black U.S. congresswoman, in the feature film, Shirley, which she will also produce alongside her sister, Reina King. Fellow Academy Award winner John Ridley will serve as the film’s writer and director.
Reports tracing as far back as 2012 touted King’s participation in a Chisholm biopic. She said it took a decade to get a green light for the film.
“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 released by producing partner Participant. “To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter.”
Shirley will give viewers an intimate and behind-the-scenes look at Chisholm’s life, and her groundbreaking run for president as a democrat in 1972.
Brooklyn-born Chisholm was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1968, representing New York’s 12th congressional district from 1969 to 1983. She earned the respect of her constituents and her peers while climbing the political ladder. She became the first African-American candidate to earn a major party’s nomination in 1972.
Ridley praised King’s determination to get the film made in a statement on Wednesday.
“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,” he said. “I’m very thankful to both Regina and Reina trusting me to partner in telling the story of this truly remarkable individual.”
Production on Shirley is set to begin later this year.