Jack Johnson : a new miniseries for HBO

January 27, 2013

It is yet another project for HBO that Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce, along with documentary director Ken Burns (The War, Prohibition).

This time, this four to six parts miniseries will be based on the Geoffrey C. Ward book Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson and will center on Jack Johnson as the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World, at a time when only whites were allowed to fight in this weight class. His dominance over his white opponents spurred furious debates and race riots in the early 20th century.
His private life was equally controversial. Jack Johnson was married three times and all his wives were white at a time when such relationships were forbidden by American law.


Beau Willimon (The Ides of March, House of Cards) will write the screenplay while Ken Burns is aboard to direct. Both of them will join Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman as co-executive producers.