The Help star will develop and produce the project with celebrated TV director Paris Barclay.
The film will showcase Jordan’s struggle to overcome racial discrimination and chronicle her successes as a lawyer and elected member of Congress.
She also gained widespread recognition for her iconic governmental address to impeach U.S. President Richard Nixon during the Watergate hearings.
Barclay tells Variety, “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 being who single-handedly changed American politics, you say, ‘Yes.’
“We’re hoping this becomes a movie that shows the world everything that Viola can do. People haven’t seen everything that she’s capable of, and this role is so powerful.”
Jordan, who in 1962 became the first black female member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was awarded the Medal of Freedom by former American president Bill Clinton in 1994. She died in 1996 due to complications with pneumonia.