Mahershala Ali has secured another major film role in the upcoming HBO series Unruly based on boxer Jack Johnson.
After winning Academy Awards for hit films Green Book and Moonlight, Ali has been tapped to star as Jack Johnson in the upcoming limited series, according to Deadline.
The series is in the works at Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone company, and the script will be written by Dominique Morisseau, based on the PBS documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson and its accompanying book by Geoffrey C. Ward.
In the past few years, Ali has expressed his interest in playing Johnson on multiple occasions, describing the part as his “dream role.”
Ali even has a bit of experience in playing Johnson, as he was selected to star as the athlete in the stage production of The Great White Hope, in 2000.
According to the outlet, Unruly is an unapologetically Black series highlighting Jack Johnson’s story, who became the world’s first Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion.
Not only is Ali set to star in the series performing as Johnson, but the actor is also set to produce the show under his production company Know Wonder along with his wife Amatus Karim Ali and their producing partner Mimi Valdés.
“This bold exploration depicts the champion’s rise to athletic greatness and the costs he paid for his skin and defiance, which created a blueprint for Black resistance in every justice movement for generations to come,” the outlet reports.