Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Ken Burns Is Turning His PBS Doc 'Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson' Into An HBO Miniseries

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 25, 2013 at 1:54PM

You can't really talk about American documentary filmmakers without mentioning Ken Burns. Practically an institution at PBS, Ken Burns has created sprawling, research heavy, detailed documentaries about monumental moments in the country's history, including "The Civil War," "Jazz" and "Prohibition" (he's not one for fancy titles). He's also turned his eye from time to time to sports, with "Baseball" and "Unforgiveable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson." And some stories it seems are worth telling again with a bit of cinematic flair, as the latter is headed for the miniseries treatment.
2
Unforgiveable Blackness Ken Burns

You can't really talk about American documentary filmmakers without mentioning Ken Burns. Practically an institution at PBS, Ken Burns has created sprawling, research heavy, detailed documentaries about monumental moments in the country's history, including "The Civil War," "Jazz" and "Prohibition" (he's not one for fancy titles). He's also turned his eye from time to time to sports, with "Baseball" and "Unforgiveable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson." And some stories it seems are worth telling again with a bit of cinematic flair, as the latter is headed for the miniseries treatment.

HBO and Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone shingle are teaming with Burns for a four-to-six part mini-series, which will be penned by Beau Willimon ("Ides Of March," "House Of Cards"). Hard to argue with that talent. It's difficult to recount the entire saga of Johnson's life in a few lines -- we have Wikipedia for all that -- but essentially he was a world famous boxer, at a time when it wasn't easy to be black and successful in America. While he thrived professionally, and made no secret or hid the trappings that came with his rise to the top -- he was also targeted for it, with overzealous prosecutors usually on his tail. He spent seven years in exile, had a couple stints in prison, and there is wrenching final note in his life, as he died in a car crash, driving away furiously from a diner that refused to serve him.

No word yet on when this will roll into production, and the title part will be a meaty one certainly. But until then, if you haven't caught up with the documentary, you can watch it below. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Television, TV News, Ken Burns, HBO , Tom Hanks


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates