Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

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

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth 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