Sylvester Stallone has formed Balboa Productions in association with Braden Aftergood, an executive producer of Hell or High Water (2016), The Hollywood Reporter said. The new company is named after one of Stallone’s most well-known creations, the pugilist Rocky Balboa.
“Balboa comes with project already in development and it’s not far from the Stallone wheelhouse: a biopic on Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion,” The Hollywood Reporter said.
Johnson was convicted in 1913 by the Mann Act for taking his white girlfriend across state lines for “immoral purposes”. The 10-month sentence was handed out by an all-white jury, and was seen as one of the numerous instances of institutionalised racism. Stallone was among the celebrities lobbying Trump for the pardon. Earlier this year, Trump granted the pardon, saying, “He represented something that was both very beautiful and very terrible at the same time.”
Balboa Productions will roll out both film and television projects. Apart from creating the Rocky Balboa character in 1976 and starring in the six spin-offs, Stallone also starred in Ryan Coogler’s 2015 spin-off Creed, and will return in the planned sequel Creed II, on which he shares writing credits.