Danai Gurira To Star In ‘The Fighting Shirley Chisholm’; Cherien Dabis To Direct Retooled Pic

Danai Gurira has been set to star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, a feature film that will tell the story behind Chisholm’s historical 1972 run for the U.S. presidency. Cherien Dabis (Ramy, Ozark) has been set to direct the pic, based on a script by Adam Countee, and refreshes the project after Viola Davis had been attached to star and executive produce it for Amazon back in 2018, with Maggie Betts directing it at the time.

The script from Countee, the Emmy-nominated writer with credits including Silicon Valley, Community and The Mindy Project, is less a biopic than a snapshot of Chisholm’s groundbreaking campaign, as the first Black female in Congress became the first woman and the first person of color to seek a major American political party’s presidential nomination. Her run challenged the status quo through her efforts to gain enough delegates to speak for the people at the Democratic National Convention.

Stephanie Allain remains as producer of the film via her Homegrown Pictures. Gabrielle Ebron is executive producer. UTA Independent Film Group packaged the project; UTA reps Allain, Dabis, Countee and Gurira.

Chisolm was most recently played onscreen by Uzo Aduba in FX on Hulu’s limited series Mrs. America’, with Aduba winning the Emmy for the supporting role.

Gurira starred in Marvel’s Black Panther and recently exited The Walking Dead after a decade as that series’ mainstay. A playwright, she was the African female writer to have a play on Broadway. She is also managed by James Suskin.

Dabis, whose debut feature film Amreeka premiered at Sundance in 2009 and went on to win the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes and a Humanitas Prize, also directed the 2013 feature May in the Summer. Her recent TV helming credits also include Sweetbitter, Empire and The Sinner.

Allain is additionally repped by manager Brian Dobbins.

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