‘Shirley’ Teaser Trailer: Regina King Is Trailblazing Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm In John Ridley’s Biopic This March

In her first role since 2021’s The Harder They Fall, Regina King is taking trailblazing figure in civil rights and politics. King transforms into Shirley Chisholm for the upcoming Netflix biopic, Shirley, from writer/director John Ridley.

Chisholm, who has been a supporting subject in numerous projects, including the 2020 miniseries Mrs. America, has long been overdue to have her story told. In 1968, Chisholm became the first Black elected to the United States Congress, representing New York’s 12th district from 1969 to 1983. But that’s not all, as Chisholm broke another barrier in 1972 when she ran for President of the United States, becoming the first Black woman to seek a major party’s nomination for that office.

According to Netflix, Shirley “chronicles her audacious, boundary-breaking 1972 presidential campaign.”

The film marks one of the final roles of the late Lance Reddick, who died suddenly last year. Also in the cast are Lucas Hedges, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christina Jackson, Michael Cherrie, Dorian Crossmond Missick, Amirah Vann, W. Earl Brown, Brad James, Reina King, André Holland and Terrence Howard.

This is a passion project for King, who worked with her sister Reina for over 15 years to get off the ground.

Ridley is best known as the Oscar-winning writer of 12 Years a Slave. He most recently directed sci-fi/romance Needle in a Timestack, and before that the unfortunate Hendrix biopic Jimi: All is by My Side. He has not found the same success as a director than as a writer.

In keeping with that, some rumors have surfaced about poor Shirley test screenings after numerous delays and reshoots. World of Reel has an account by one attendee who called the film “every cliche of a generic biopic” while also criticizing King’s performance.

Take any such rumors with a grain of salt, though. There’s a lot of talent on this film and just as much passion behind it.

Shirley streams exclusively to Netflix on March 22nd.


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.