Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First-Look Images at Michael K. Williams, Maya Rudolph in Murder Mystery Series, 'Spoils Before Dying' First-Look Images at Michael K. Williams, Maya Rudolph in Murder Mystery Series, 'Spoils Before Dying' Shonda Rhimes & Dee Rees Team Up for FX Series on The Great Migration Based on 'The Warmth of Other Suns' Shonda Rhimes & Dee Rees Team Up for FX Series on The Great Migration Based on 'The Warmth of Other Suns' Orlando Jones Says Goodbye to 'Sleepy Hollow' Orlando Jones Says Goodbye to 'Sleepy Hollow' Here's the Character Lupita Nyong'o Plays in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' + Jar Jar Binks Dead? Here's the Character Lupita Nyong'o Plays in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' + Jar Jar Binks Dead? Dee Rees Talks Making of 'Bessie,' Her Approach, Challenges as a Black Female Director, Filmmaker Tips, More... Dee Rees Talks Making of 'Bessie,' Her Approach, Challenges as a Black Female Director, Filmmaker Tips, More... The Suicide Squad Assembles... This Time in Costume (Official Cast Photo + Will Smith Character Poster) The Suicide Squad Assembles... This Time in Costume (Official Cast Photo + Will Smith Character Poster) Weekend B.O. May 1-3 (The $187 Million Disappointment) Weekend B.O. May 1-3 (The $187 Million Disappointment) Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast NBC Orders 3 Pilots to Series w/ Yaya DaCosta, S. Epatha Merkerson, Marianne Jean-Baptiste & Others Starring NBC Orders 3 Pilots to Series w/ Yaya DaCosta, S. Epatha Merkerson, Marianne Jean-Baptiste & Others Starring A New Month Begins with New Titles Added to Netflix's Streaming Library. Here Are Your Options... A New Month Begins with New Titles Added to Netflix's Streaming Library. Here Are Your Options... Newcomer Kascion Franklin Lands Lead Role in BBC Drama Feature 'Danny and the Human Zoo' with Destiny Ekaragha Directing Newcomer Kascion Franklin Lands Lead Role in BBC Drama Feature 'Danny and the Human Zoo' with Destiny Ekaragha Directing Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show Will Smith Channels Shaft in These 'Suicide Squad' On-set Photos Will Smith Channels Shaft in These 'Suicide Squad' On-set Photos A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' 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? 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 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