Danai Gurira to Play Shirley Chisholm in New Film

The timing for this feels perfect. Black Panther and The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira is set to star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm from director Cherien Dabis. The film will track Chisholm’s groundbreaking run for president in the 1972 election. Chisholm was also the first Black woman ever elected to Congress, in 1968, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination. Chisholm’s campaign strategy centered on the energy and engagement of younger voters, which led to her gaining enough delegates to speak at the Democratic Convention. Chisholm’s campaign was focused on social and political change at one of the most politically volatile times in our nation’s history. Perhaps, perhaps we’ll be able to watch this film with just a little remove from our own highly polarized, politically volatile moment.

The Fighting Shirley Chisholm comes from a script from Adam Countee (Silicon Valley, Community) with Stephanie Allain producing. As the news broke yesterday of Gurira’s casting, more details have also emerged about the film’s plot. It will not be a straight biopic, but rather focus on the campaign itself. The script follows Chilsholm’s recognition that “she could make real change by challenging the status quo through her efforts to gain enough delegates to speak for the people at the Democratic Convention,” Variety reports.

The film had previously been set up at Amazon Studios with another powerhouse talent, Viola Davis, set to star and produce. We also recently saw another excellent version of Chisholm, portrayed by Uzo Aduba, in the FX miniseries Mrs. America. Aduba won an Emmy for her performance.

We’ll share more on this project as the information comes in.

Featured image: L-r: LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 27: Danai Gurira attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. 480543 (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Turner), African American educator and U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm speaks at a podium at the Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, July 1972. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Getty Images)


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.