Academy Award-winning filmmaker John Ridley will write and direct the biopic “Shirley” with Regina King set to star as the U.S.’s first Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Participant announced on Wednesday.
Regina King and Reina King of Royal Ties Productions will produce. Jeff Skoll and Anikah McLaren will executive produce. Production is expected to begin later this year.
“Shirley” centers on the dynamic presidential campaign launched in 1972 by America’s first Black congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm, who was recently featured in FX’s “Mrs. America” — earning Uzo Aduba an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.
Based on her life story rights through an exclusive agreement with the Chisholm estate, the film offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most ground-breaking political leaders of our time during a seminal period in modern American history.
“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,” Regina King said in a statement to TheWrap. “To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter.”
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 Chisholm’s life as a politician and her groundbreaking career in Washington is a critical part of American history that is far too often overlooked,” Participant CEO David Linde said. “We are thrilled to partner with John, Regina, Reina and a tremendously talented creative team to share the story of this remarkable woman with audiences everywhere.”
King, who earned an Oscar two years ago for her supporting role in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” most recently directed and executive produced “One Night in Miami” and starred in HBO’s Emmy Award-winning series “Watchmen.” King is represented by ICM Partners, John Carrabino Management and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman.
Ridley currently is writing, producing and directing the new limited series “Five Days At Memorial” for Apple TV+ and was the creator and showrunner of the Emmy Award-winning television series “American Crime.” Ridley is represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Rohner & Walerstein.