Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

HBO, Ken Burns & Tom Hanks Team Up For Scripted 4 To 6-Part Mini-Series On Jack Johnson

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 24, 2013 at 9:44PM

Ken Burns already tackled Jack Johnson in a feature documentary - Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, the 3 1/2-hour 2005 film; Burns will return to the life of Johnson, but this time via a scripted 4 to 6-part mini-series for HBO, says Deadline.
9
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Ken Burns already tackled Jack Johnson in a feature documentary - Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, the 3 1/2-hour 2005 film; Burns will return to the life of Johnson, but this time via a scripted 4 to 6-part mini-series for HBO, says Deadline.

HBO has hired Beau Willimon (Ides of Marchto pen the script, which will see Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman produce (via their Playtone Partners production company) along with Ken Burns, who will also direct the series, which will be based on Geoffrey C. Ward's book Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson - the same book that Burns based his 2005 PBS feature documentary on. 

While the character James Earl Jones played in the 1970 film, The Great White Hope, was patterned after Jack Johnson, this upcoming HBO mini-series by Burns will be the first to really directly tackle the man, his provocative life and career, on screen. I especially love the idea of a 4 to 6-part mini-series on HBO, instead of a single feature film in theaters.

Like Burns' 2005 doc, the HBO series will center on Jack Johnson as the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World, whose dominance over his white opponents spurred furious debates and race riots in the early 20th century. The provocative PBS documentary showed the gritty details of Johnson's life through archival footage, still photographs, and the commentary of boxing experts such as Stanley CrouchBert Sugar, the late George PlimptonJack Newfield, Randy RobertsGerald Early and James Earl Jones.

Johnson in many ways was an embodiment of the African American struggle to be truly free in this country - economically, socially and politically. He absolutely refused to play by the rules set by the white establishment, or even those of the black community. In that sense, he fought for freedom not just as a black man, but as an individual.

Before the scripted HBO mini-series premieres, check out the doc, which, last I checked, is streaming on Netflix.

No ETA is given for when we can expect the mini.

Of course, the big question is who will be cast to play Jack Johnson...?

This article is related to: Television, TV News


Shadow & ActNewsletter