Award-winning actress Viola Davis is set to play Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman in a new Amazon biopic.
The project is a first look deal Davis has in place with her JuVee production company which she runs with her husband. Maggie Betts will direct the feature from a screenplay by Adam Countee. Stephanie Allain of Homegrown Productions is producing.
Davis will also produce the Amazon feature with husband Julius Tennon as the first of a series of politically themed films the couple makes for the streamer.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter Davis said: “I hope to educate because a lot of people don’t know who she was.” Tennon went on to state about the deal with Amazon: “We want to do the same thing — make content that highlights people of colour across the globe.”
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The project, which has yet to find a title, focuses on the life and career of the civil rights pioneer from the 1960s and ’70s. Chisholm was elected in 1969 to represent New York’s 12th district, which she did until 1983. She was a major Civil Rights leader, and the first woman from a major political party to run for president in 1972.
Davis, who has today been nominated for a BAFTA for her role in Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’ can currently be seen in the TV series ‘How To Get Away With Murder’. Her upcoming projects include ‘Troop Zero’ alongside Allison Janney and the currently untitled Harriet Tubman project.