By Michael Gioia
05 Mar 2014
Common, formerly Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., played African-American boxing champion Jack Jefferson, the role that earned James Earl Jones a 1969 Tony Award and a 1971 Oscar nomination in the subsequent film version.
The reading was held for producers and investors, and Common has offered to help finance a possible production.
The play, about an African-American boxer — loosely based on Jack Johnson — who suffers racism due to his success and his relationship with a white woman, opened on Broadway in October 1968.