Sylvester Stallone has launched a new production company, Balboa Productions, where he’ll develop film and TV projects. The first project on the way is a biopic about Jack Johnson, the first African American boxing heavyweight champion.
Stallone himself was instrumental in obtaining a rare and historic Presidential Pardon for Johnson who was convicted of violating the Mann Act in 1910 – at the height of the Jim Crow era. An all-white jury convicted Johnson of transporting a white woman with whom he was involved in a relationship across state lines.
Stallone, as well as Sen. John McCain, and Ken Burns were among those who had advocated for a pardon for Johnson who died in 1946 and whose conviction became a prominent story of racism in the judicial system. He served ten months in prison.
Braden Aftergood will also produce.