Viola Davis’ Shirley Chisholm Biopic Gets Green Light At Amazon

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

That’s just one of the many great quotes from Shirley Chisholm, who in 1969 became the first black woman ever elected to Congress, serving New York’s 12th District. In 1972 she ran for President on the Democratic ticket, becoming the first woman of any major political party to do so. During our 2018 midterm elections we saw a historic number of women elected into government, specifically women of color, and Chisholm’s name was brought up a number of times in recognition of her place in history. Now Viola Davis, no stranger to making history herself, will finally give Chisholm’s story its due on the big screen.

Davis, the first black woman to be nominated for three Academy Awards, is confirmed to produce and star in a Shirley Chisholm biopic for Amazon Studios. In November when reports first started to surface, the film was going by the title of The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, but it’s unclear if that title remains. This is a project Davis has been shepherding for years.

On board to direct is Maggie Betts, who won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2017 for her religious drama, Novitiate. Adam Countee wrote the script.

“I hope to educate,” Davis said about her goals for the film, “because a lot of people don’t know who she was.”