Tommy Morrison biopic: According to Variety, Dallas- and New York-based writer-producer Curt Johnson has optioned life rights to develop a feature from the story of 1990s boxing star Tommy Morrison, one of the few high-profile sports figures forced into retirement as a result of testing positive for HIV.

Considered the Great White Hope of boxing during his peak, Morrison co-starred with Sylvester Stallone in Rocky V and was slated to fight Mike Tyson upon the latter's release from prison. Morrison was diagnosed with HIV during pre-fight screening in 1996, causing the cancellation of the scheduled bout and stunning the boxing world.

Johnson will pen the screenplay and will produce through his Indie Genius Prods. banner with Gigi Gaston. Several prominent figures from the sports world are expected to be cast in the drama.

As well as the feature, Johnson will produce a behind-the-scenes, making-of documentary and is shepherding an autobiography by Morrison, which will coincide with the former champ's return to boxing commentary.

The film is scheduled to shoot in late spring.

Brian B.