News: Will Smith To Play Hurricane Katrina Hero In "The American Can"
Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:55PM
Blockbuster actor Will Smith has reportedly been chosen to produce and possibly star in the upcoming film The American Can based on Hurricane Katrina.
The rapper-turned-actor will likely star as Katrina hero John Keller.
Keller, the 6-foot-7 ex-Marine who rescued 244 of his neighbors at the American Can Company apartment complex in Mid-City and emerged as one of the memorable heroes of Hurricane Katrina, will be the subject of a feature film expected to star Will Smith as Keller. Overbrook executive Jeff Sommerville confirmed that Smith is likely to play the role and has also decided to co-produce the film. The writer and director of the project will be John Lee Hancock. (NOLA News)
Keller is most known for his various efforts during the 2005 disaster in Lousiana.
Mr. Keller was dubbed The Can Man after rescuing his neighbors from a five-story apartment building, The American Can Company, where he lived. For five days, Keller warded off intruders and marauders as chaos raged around the city. He also directed the eventual rescue operation from the building's roof after residents, many of them elderly or handicapped, were left stranded by 11 feet of water. (BBC News)
Hurricane Katrina has drawn the attention of various hip-hop stars including Kanye West who voiced his opinions of former President Bush in a live television broadcast.
"I hate the way they portray us in the media," Ye said in 2005. "You see a black family, it says, 'They're looting.' You see a white family, it says, 'They're looking for food.' And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. So anybody out there that wants to do anything that we can help -- with the way America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. I mean, the Red Cross is doing everything they can. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way -- and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us! (Washington Post)
In addition to reportedly starring in an upcoming Katrina film and recording the tribute song "Tie My Hands," Lil Wayne has also helped victims of the tragic event.
Lil Wayne has donated $200,000 to help rebuild a New Orleans Park which fell into disrepair following Hurricane Katrina. Harrell Park was used as a trailer site by relief workers in the wake of the hurricane, which left nearly 2000 people dead in 2005. The workers' heavy machinery badly damaged an athletics track, while a nearby community centre was used by the homeless. Lil Wayne, who used the park as a child, said he hoped his gesture would inspire fellow hip-hop stars to extend similar offers of goodwill. (Gigwise)
A production date for The American Can has yet to be announced.