Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: First Trailer For ‘Effie Gray’ Starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Tom Sturridge & Greg Wise Watch: First Trailer For ‘Effie Gray’ Starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Tom Sturridge & Greg Wise Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Will Smith Eyes Denzel Washington To Star In His Hurricane Katrina Drama 'The American Can'

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 29, 2011 at 1:16AM

When you think about it, it's pretty amazing that no one has paired up Will Smith and Denzel Washington. Certainly you would think that two of the biggest stars in Hollywood would have been brought together in something by now, and while they are being tossed around as the possible leads for a remake of Sidney Poitier's comedy "Uptown Saturday Night" another project may pair them up sooner, but with only one of the stars in front of the camera.
1


When you think about it, it's pretty amazing that no one has paired up Will Smith and Denzel Washington. Certainly you would think that two of the biggest stars in Hollywood would have been brought together in something by now, and while they are being tossed around as the possible leads for a remake of Sidney Poitier's comedy "Uptown Saturday Night" another project may pair them up sooner, but with only one of the stars in front of the camera.

Vulture reports that Will Smith is still trying to get his Hurricane Katrina drama "The American Can" and though he was once looking at it as a starring vehicle, he's going to stick to producing it and he wants Washington to take the lead role. The project first cropped up in the spring of 2009 with John Lee Hancock attached to write and direct, with the helmer gaining major steam later the same year with "The Blind Side," showing that Smith had some pretty good instincts. The film is based on the true story of John Keller, an ex-Marine, who along with residents of the American Can apartment complex, ward off looters and try to find help after the levees break in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Keller did manage to eventually get help two days later, saving the lives of dozens of sick and elderly residents of the building. His tale was chronicled in the documentary "New Orleans: My Home, My Life, My Love."

But wait, this sounds like exactly the kind of meaty, awards baiting fare that Smith gravitates toward so why doesn't he just star in it himself? As it turns out, he wants to get the ball rolling on the movie sooner rather than later but his own commitment to that M. Night Shyamalan movie "One Thousand A.E." with his son Jaden Smith is taking priority. Originally set to start shooting in September, the production has been pushed to January likely due to the delays on "Men In Black 3" (and we'd guess that may have been a factor in Smith not being able to commit to Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained").

Washington is certainly interested, and is giving notes to both Smith and Sony on the project, and if they like the direction he wants to take it, it will all come together. It sounds like a pretty great story made for a big screen telling, but Hancock's made-for-TV like direction and Hallmark sentimentality doesn't make for a good fit in a film where racial politics play a central role. If it does move forward, here's hoping that Washington's notes include a change in director. Our suggestion? Frequent Washington collaborator Spike Lee who is already an encyclopedia of knowledge about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina thanks to his excellent documentaries "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" and "If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise." He'd be a great choice and we'd just be glad to see him back helming a feature film again.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, John Lee Hancock, One Thousand A.E., The American Can


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates