What happens when you combine two unstoppable forces in a project that’s already boundless in intrinsic emotional power? History, that’s what. Will Smith has been trying for a while to materialize The American Can: a drama based on effects of Hurricane Katrina, specifically the destruction of an apartment complex after which the project is named. Until recently, Smith had planned to star in the film—but he has decided to approach Denzel Washington with the opportunity.
The role in question is based on John Keller, an ex-marine who confined himself to the American Can apartment complex when the floods hit. He helped elderly and medically impaired residents to survive and eventually evacuate. Smith decided to find another actor for the role because he’s also helping to develop the M. Knight Shyamalan project, One Thousand A.E., which would delay The American Can further. Smith will remain heavily involved with The American Can behind the scenes.
Washington is in the process of filming Safe House, a spy thriller. He and Smith are maintaining communication in order to determine whether the two will in fact collaborate on The American Can.