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Tags: sylvester stallone | jack johnson | boxing | movie | pardon

Stallone Producing Movie on Boxer Jack Johnson

Stallone Producing Movie on Boxer Jack Johnson
President Donald Trump acknowledges actor Sylvester Stallone after signing an Executive Grant of Clemency for former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 May 2018 04:12 PM EDT

President Donald Trump pardoned him and now Sylvester Stallone is turning his life into a movie.

The life of Jack Johnson, the nation's first African American heavyweight boxing champion, will be turned into a big-budget flick by Balboa Productions, the "Rocky" star's new entertainment company, Deadline reports.

Last Thursday, Trump granted a rare posthumous pardon to Johnson, who served 10 months in prison for what many view as a racially motivated miscarriage of justice.

"It's my honor to do it; it's about time," Trump said at an Oval Office ceremony where he was joined by Stallone and boxer Lennox Lewis, who had pushed for the pardon.

Johnson, the son of ex-slaves, defeated Tommy Burns for the heavyweight boxing championship in an era when black fighters and white fighters rarely faced off in the ring.

In 1913, he was found guilty by an all-white jury for violating the Mann Act, which made it a felony to transport across state lines "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose." Johnson had been traveling with his white girlfriend, a racist taboo at the time.

Johnson, who was heavyweight champ from 1908-15, died in a car crash June 10, 1946, at the age of 68.

No cast for Stallone's film has been announced yet.

Johnson's life has been the subject of several acclaimed documentaries, including Ken Burns' "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson." And James Earl Jones starred in a Broadway play and 1970 Hollywood movie based on the boxer's life called "The Great White Hope."

Stallone has been associated with boxing since the mid-70s with his Oscar-winning movie "Rocky" and its sequels about a big-hearted, Italian-American boxer.

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Sylvester Stallone is making a movie on the first African American heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who was recently posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump.
sylvester stallone, jack johnson, boxing, movie, pardon
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 04:12 PM
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