Golden Globe-winning actor Sylvester Stallone plans to make a biopic about the late Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion in boxing.
Johnson, a Texas-native, held the heavyweight championship from 1908 to 1915 after knocking out then champion Tommy Burns.
In 1912, he was sentenced to prison for violating the Mann Act after bringing his white girlfriend across state lines before marriage.
Johnson boxed until he was 50 and died in car accident in North Carolina in 1946.
The announcement about the biopic comes a short time after President Donald Trump signed pardon to the late boxer, who served 10 months in prison in what the president called “a racially-motivated injustice.”
Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial. Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
Stallone stood next to Trump as the pardon was signed as the president said Stallone played a key role in bring Johnson’s story to his attention.
Stallone said the character Apollo Creed in the Rocky films were based on Johnson. Creed II is currently in production.
Johnson has previously been portrayed in the film The Great White Hope and the 2004 documentary Unforgivable Blackness.