Regina King to Play Shirley Chisholm for John Ridley

Regina King is currently in the running to break several records if she were to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director for One Night in Miami, her debut feature behind the camera. 

Whether that ends up happening next month or not, she’s staking her claim on a potential run for her first Best Actress award, taking on the role of the legendary Shirley Chisholm in the new biopic Shirley, written and directed by John Ridley

Ridley, of course, is an Oscar winner himself for his script for 12 Years a Slave. This will mark a reunion for Ridley and King, having previously worked together on the ABC anthology series American Crime, a series that earned King the first two of her to-date four Primetime Emmy wins (she was nominated a third time for the series, but did not win). 

Shirley Chisholm is a woman very much in the spotlight at the moment, having recently been portrayed by Uzo Aduba in the Hulu miniseries Mrs. America, a role which Aduba won the Emmy for. Danai Gurira is also currently attached to play Chisholm in a separate biopic, titled The Fighting Shirley Chisholm

Ridley and King’s film will focus on the 1972 presidential campaign, where Chisholm became the first African-American candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. 

Notably, the film has been granted an exclusive agreement by the Chisholm Estate, giving them access to her life and story rights, which give this biopic a leg up on any other projects. 

King, who will also be producing the film through her Royal Ties Productions with her sister Reina King, spoke about the project, saying, “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”. 

Ridley, meanwhile, praised both King and Chisholm, while giving thanks to the King sisters, as he said, “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 for trusting me to partner in telling the story of this truly remarkable individual.”


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Written by Mitchell Beaupre

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