Sylvester Stallone making biopic about boxer Jack Johnson

May 30, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) Days after the presidential pardon of Jack Johnson, Sylvester Stallone has announced plans for a biopic on the first African-American heavyweight champion.

Stallone said Wednesday that his newly launched Balboa Productions will start with a film about Johnson. On Thursday, Stallone stood next to President Donald Trump in the Oval Office as he signed a rare posthumous pardon to Johnson, who served 10 months in prison in what Trump called ''a racially-motivated injustice.''

Trump has said Stallone was instrumental in bringing Johnson's story to his attention.

Stallone's production company said the film will be fast-tracked with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures.

Stallone has said Johnson was the basis for the character Apollo Creed in the ''Rocky'' films. The 71-year-old actor is currently in production on ''Creed II'' with MGM.