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Sylvester Stallone making biopic about boxer Jack Johnson

May 30, 2018
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FILE - In this 1932 file photo, boxer Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight champion, poses in New York City. President Donald Trump on Thursday, May 24, 2018, granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson's name more than 100 years after a racially-charged conviction. Sylvester Stallone has announced plans for a biopic on the first African American heavyweight champion. (AP Photo/File)

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.

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