Regina King to Produce and Star as Shirley Chisholm, First Black Congresswoman

Regina King to set to produce and star in a movie about the life of Shirley Chisholm, America's first Black Congresswoman. According to Variety, King will star as the iconic politician who made a bid for the U.S. Presidency in 1972. Oscar-winning filmmaker John Ridley will helm the film, which he has also written. In 2014, Ridley took home the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his script of the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave. This will mark his third time behind the camera for a scripted film, following 1997s Cold Around the Heart, and the forthcoming sci-fi film Needle in a Timestack, both of which he also wrote the scripts for.

In a statement on the new biopic, titled Shirley, King praised the late Chisholm for her groundbreaking impact in American politics and expressed her excitement to work with Ridley on a project about her life. "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. "To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at [production company] Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter." King and Ridley previously worked together on ABC's American Crime, which earned King two Emmy awards, in 2015 and 2016.

Ridley has also issued a statement about the new project, saying, "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 for both Regina and [her sister] Regina [King] trusting me to partner in telling the story of this truly remarkable individual. " King and her sister co-run Royal Ties Productions, which will be a producer of the film.


Participant CEO David Linde added to the praise and excitement, writing, "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." Linde continued, "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." At this time, Shirley does not have an announced premiere date.