Brie Larson, soon to be Captain Marvel, is aiming for another fancy title. In a new movie, the actress will play Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States.
Woodhull ran for president in 1872, almost 50 years before American women got the right to vote with the 19th Amendment. Woodhull ran as a candidate from the Equal Rights Party, advocating for a platform of equal rights and women's suffrage. In 1870, she announced her candidacy in a letter to the New York Herald.
She wrote, "I am quite well aware that in assuming this position I shall evoke more ridicule than enthusiasm at the outset. But this is an epoch of sudden changes and startling surprises. What may appear absurd today will assume a serious aspect to-morrow."
Her highly controversial campaign was technically not even a constitutional one—not because of her gender, but because she ran at the age of 34, a year younger than the Constitution requires. Woodhull ultimately received zero electoral votes and a negligible number of popular votes, but her candidacy is considered an important influence nonetheless, paving the way for further progress in the suffrage movement.
Woodhull would also rack up other historic milestones in her life. Along with her sister, she became the first woman to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street. The two would also be some of the first women to ever own and publish a newspaper.
According to Deadline, Larson, who has frequently shown creative interest in projects with strong female leads, will also produce the Amazon Studios film. It is called Victoria Woodhull, after its subject. Ben Kopit will write the script; a director is not yet known to be attached.
The film is a natural fit for Larson, who has frequently used her platform to support women-fronted projects and to advocate for women's issues writ large. She has shown a particular passion for speaking out for sexual-assault survivors, making waves at this year's Oscar ceremony for abstaining from clapping for Casey Affleck Best Actor win, given Affleck's history of sexual-harassment allegations.
Victoria Woodhull's production comes less than a year after a Hillary Clinton ran for the White House and lost—making the timing as heartbreaking as it is appropriate, depicting a struggle that isn't so far in the rear-view of history as we'd like to believe.
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