Sylvester Stallone is creating a film based on boxer Jack Johnson through MGM. This would be the first film from Stallone’s Balboa Productions.
Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion, was wrongly convicted in 1910 for violating the Mann Act by traveling with a white woman across state lines for “immoral purposes.” The woman happened to be Johnson’s wife, Lucille Cameron. Johnson was convicted because of trumped-up charges centered around Belle Schreiber, a woman who claimed she was mistreated by Johnson. Speaking of “trumped-up,” Stallone successfully convinced President Trump to posthumously pardon Johnson of his charges.
This film would be a return to MGM for Stallone, who worked with the studio on the Rocky and Creed franchises. According to Variety, Balboa Productions has agreed to a multi-year deal with Starlight Culture Entertainment for film development.