Will Smith Will Smith

Will Smith has tapped Denzel Washington to star in The American Can, according to New York magazine's Vulture blog.

The film will be based on the true story of John Keller, who stayed behind in his New Orleans apartment complex to ward off looters and take care of residents unable to evacuate after the levees broke as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Smith initially was supposed to star as Keller, but had to bow out because of his involvement in M. Night Shyamalan' s One Thousand A.E., which was recently pushed back to begin filming in January. Smith will still be involved behind the scenes of The American Can.

Smith and Sony reportedly are waiting on Washington's notes on John Lee Hancock's script. Besides writing Can, Hancock, whose credits include The Blind Side and The Alamo, will also direct.