Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali is one of the most dependable performers in Hollywood today. His roles in films like Moonlight and TV shows like Luke Cage have put him in a pantheon of versatile actors that transform for the role they are given. Up next, the actor will star in a limited series in development at HBO. As first reported by Variety, Ali will play the legendary boxer Jack Johnson in a new biographical series.
The six-part series is reportedly titled Unruly and based on the PBS documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. Per the initial report, the series is described as an unapologetically Black, no-holds-barred telling of Johnson’s life. Jack Johson is the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion. The champion’s reign lasted from 1908 to 1915 with his 1910 fight against James J. Jeffries widely dubbed the “fight of the century”. However, the series will also depict the struggles Johnson faced within the world of professional boxing due to his skin color.
American playwright Dominique Morisseau will serve as the show’s writer and executive producer. The writer and actress is best known for her work on the smash Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations. Additionally, Tom Hanks is on-board to produce the series alongside Ali and documentarian Ken Burns. The role is the fruition of a lifelong goal for Ali. Previously, the True Detective actor played Johnson in a stage production of The Great White Hope in 2000.
Furthermore, Ali currently appears in the Golden Globe-winning Hulu series Ramy. Up next, he will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming film Blade. Moreover, Ali will lend his voice to the animated superhero series Invincible alongside J.K. Simmons and Mark Hamill.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to the upcoming HBO series? Let us know in the comments below!
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