Regina King to Produce and Star as Shirley Chisholm in Upcoming Biopic: 'We Hope to Inspire'

Regina King is bringing the story of Shirley Chisholm to the big screen.

The 50-year-old actress and director is planning to star as the iconic politician — who was the first Black congresswoman — in an upcoming film, according to multiple outlets.

King will also produce the feature, which is currently titled Shirley, with her sister, Reina King. 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley will serve as the film's writer and director.

Production on the film is scheduled to begin sometime later this year.

Shirley is set to give moviegoers a behind-the-scenes look at Chisholm's storied life and her run for president as a Democratic candidate in 1972.

King has long awaited the opportunity to bring Chisholm's story to fans, and has been open about her desire to do so in the past, even telling The Daily Beast in 2012: "The good part is I have time to play her because she lived a long time and did so much at different parts of her life."

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In a recent statement, per Variety, King said, "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. To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter."

Ridley, 55, 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."

Last year, Uzo Aduba portrayed the real-life heroine in the limited series Mrs. America, which earned her a win for best supporting actress in limited series or movie at the 72nd annual Primetime Emmys.

In her acceptance speech at the awards ceremony, Aduba paid tribute to the groundbreaking civil rights activist she portrayed, saying, "I want to say thank you for Shirley Chisholm for her championship work for all people who have been forgotten, marginalized, who she represented."

Speaking with PEOPLE after her win, Aduba echoed that sentiment. Winning, she said, "means a lot, particularly for the character that I was able and fortunate enough to play.

"Shirley Chisholm was a trailblazer and a champion for those who had been forgotten and left behind, and those who had no voice where they should," she added. "It feels especially touching to bring her story to light, and the stories of those who have not been heard."

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