Mahershala Ali to Star as Boxer Jack Johnson in HBO Series Unruly

Photo: FilmMagic

Mahershala Ali, two-time Oscar winner, Ramy star, and former rapper, is set to play boxing legend Jack Johnson in an upcoming limited series from HBO titled Unruly. Based on the Ken Burns documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson and its accompanying book by Geoffrey C. Ward, the series will be written by playwright Dominique Morisseau and produced by Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone. Ali previously played Johnson, the world’s first Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion, in a 2000 revival of the play The Great White Hope, and told the Hollywood Reporter in 2017 that his “dream role” is Johnson. “I really just want the opportunity to go on the hero’s journey. I’ve never done that,” he said. This is Ali’s second HBO series, after his role in the third season of True Detective back in 2019.

Mahershala Ali to Star as Boxer Jack Johnson in HBO’s Unruly