Regina King to Produce and Star As Shirley Chisholm in John Ridley Directed Biopic

by Jamila Lizet White

February 17, 2021

Photo by Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/

Regina King has not skipped a beat since the year began — from her directorial debut in One Night in Miami to her history-making Golden Globe Nomination and joining the small but mighty list of Black women who have hosted Saturday Night Live.

The 50-year-old director will now portray America’s first Black congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm.

Photo by Don Hogan Charles/New York Times Co./Getty Images

John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, American Crime) will write and direct the estate-approved biopic, Shirley, which King has been working on since 2012.

The film tracks Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign and will “provide an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of the ground-breaking political leader during a seminal period in modern American history.”

The Emmy-winning actress and her sister Reina King will produce through King’s production company, Royal Ties.

“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,” said the Watchmen actress in a statement obtained by Variety. “To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter.”

Shirley marks the second project King and Ridley have worked on; the first being the 2015 anthology crime drama, American Crime.

Photo by Phillip Chin/WireImage

“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,” said the screenwriter and director. “I’m very thankful to both Regina and Reina trusting me to partner in telling the story of this truly remarkable individual.”

The film, which is slated to begin production later this year, has Chisolm’s life rights through an exclusive agreement with the Chisholm Estate.

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