Regina King Cast as Shirley Chisholm in Upcoming Biopic from John Ridley

King will also serve as an executive producer on the film.

As her directorial debut makes the rounds and fuels another bid for Oscar contention, Regina King is already lining up a follow-through.

According to Variety, the actress has signed on to portray the late Shirley Chisholm in a biopic treatment of the pioneering politician’s life after striking an exclusive deal with Chisholm’s estate. John Ridley is set to write and direct the film, which is slated to begin production later this year with King executive producing through her Reina King production banner. “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 King in a statement. “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,” added Ridley in his own statement.

The Chisholm biopic will reportedly focus on her 1972 presidential run. At the time, Chisholm was already the first Black woman to be elected to Congress and her campaign marked the first White House bid by a Black major-party candidate.  Representing New York’s 12th district as a former educator, Chisholm pushed for broad reforms in public schools and was known for staffing her office entirely with women while serving in Congress. She retired from politics in 1982 and returned to education, teaching at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

King’s in the film extends a years-long run on both ends of the lens. Her new film, One Night in Miami, is a piece of historical fiction, imagining the evening Muhammad Ali (then, Cassius Clay,) Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, and Jim Brown gathered to celebrate Ali’s victory over Sonny Liston. It’s out now via Amazon Prime Video. Later this year, she’ll star opposite Idris Elba and LaKeith Stanfield in the Netflix Original, The Harder They Fall, and reprise her roles as Huey and Riley Freeman in HBO Max’s reboot of The Boondocks




Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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