Amazon Studios Taps Viola Davis to Star in Shirley Chisholm Project

Amazon Studios and Viola Davis’s JuVee Productions company will team to produce a film on the life of political activist Shirley Chisholm, the first project under production deal reached between the two companies earlier this week.

Davis will star and serve as executive producer of The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, based on the life of the first woman and the first person of color to seek a major American political party’s nomination for President, said Amazon. 

The movie will be produced by Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions company, which earlier this week inked a first-look production deal with Amazon Studios.

Davis and Tennon will serve as producers for The Fighting Shirley Chisholm along with Stephanie Allain and Mel Jones. Maggie Betts (Novitiate) will direct the screenplay, written by Adam Countee (Silicon Valley, Community, and Mindy Project), said Amazon. 

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.