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]