ESPN Plans Telefilm on Boxer Jack Johnson

Dec 22, 2004  •  Post A Comment

ESPN will develop an original made-for-television movie based on the life of boxer Jack Johnson, the first African American world heavyweight champion, the network announced today. The movie, set to premiere in 2005, will be executive produced by Gerald Abrams of Cypress Point Productions (“Nuremberg” “Out of the Ashes” “44 Minutes”) and written Paris Qualles, whose credits include “The Tuskegee Airmen,” “Blood Brothers” and “Hannibal.”

“Jack Johnson knocked loudly on the door of a deeply segregated society,” said Mark Shapiro, ESPN executive VP, programming and production. “With defiance, he mounted a force of courage still felt a century later. His story belongs not only to boxing, but to our national heritage.”