Viola Davis to Star as Barbara Jordan in Biopic

Davis to play the first black female elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis will play the late, great political trailblazer Barbara Jordan in the congresswoman's biopic, according to the Washington Post.

The project, based on the book Barbara Jordan: American Hero, by Mary Beth Rogers, will be produced by Davis and her husband Julius Tennon's JuVee Productions. Paris Barclay will direct the film. His work ranges from Lost to Glee.

"In a world of movies about giants and Martians and toys come to life, if you can actually get involved with a movie about a human who singlehandedly changed American politics, you say yes," Barclay told Variety.

Jordan was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate (1966), and also the first black female elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1973). Many remember Jordan for her keynote speech at the 1976 Democratic National Convention, but Jordan stood for and accomplished so much more.

"If you think about Jordan as being one of the most commanding and articulate speakers of her era, who else would you think of [for the role] than Viola Davis," Diane Nabatoff, a producer on the film, told Variety. "She is so commanding, and she's got the voice."

Read more at the Washington Post.

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