Senior Editor
05.21.09 27 Comments


Will Smith’s production company has acquired the rights to The American Can, about an ex-marine who saved people when Hurricane Katrina raped New Orleans. (What? You can say “ravaged” but I can’t say “raped?”)

Standing a 6-foot-seven and 260 pounds, John Keller, the ex-Marine, lived in a five-story apartment building and after chasing some looters, emerged as the man in charge of the edifice and of the 244 residents, many of them elderly or handicapped. For five days, Keller, dubbed the “Can Man,” kept the building, isolated by 11 feet of water, safe from the chaos raging around the city. He also directed the eventual rescue operation from the building’s roof.

“This is the story of an everyman who became a hero,” said Columbia’s Doug Belgrad in a statement. “John Keller embodies everything about the American spirit: he is tough, smart, resourceful, funny, and not the type of guy who takes ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ for an answer. That is the story we want to tell — in the moment of an American tragedy, when we are tested, we find that we have greater depth of spirit and strength than we ever knew.” [THR]

Yes, sometimes life tests you.  Like before this guy started talking, I couldn’t imagine myself dismissively wanking to the story of a Hurricane Katrina hero and yet here I am, and wank I have.  Anyway, still no word on whether Will Smith has plans to star or just produce.  But damn, the guy really has things figured out.  Turns out if you play the good guy in every movie for 15 years, people are so dumb they eventually start thinking you are that guy.  Be afraid if he ever goes into politics, he’s basically the black Ronald Reagan.

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