Paradise Found: Former Marine Saves Hundreds from Ravages of Katrina. Coming to Theaters Near You.

According to New Orleans sources and Hollywood publicists, a movie is in the works recounting the actions of one man that saved hundreds from the flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
That man: Will Smith. Well, actually, Smith, the top box-office grossing phenomenon, is reportedly playing the former Marine at the center of this said-to-be true story.

We knew there’d be a major film on the topic of New Orleanians who chose not to evacuate and their self-inflicted “heroic” struggle. Let’s not forget the inaction (their inaction) that helped put them in harm’s way.

But the military connection caught us by surprise.

The word is Smith has signed on to play Good Samaritan/former Marine John Keller, who reportedly saved 244 people from a flooded building. (All accounts call him an ex-Marine. Unsure if there is deeper meaning there.)

Keller, nicknamed, “The Can Man,” and resided in the American Can Apartments in Mid City, a low-lying area hit hard by the flooding. Why he and the hapless others chose not to evacuate is unclear, though some residents seem to have been elderly. But hey, this is Hollywood and his “heroic” efforts are what count. There are reports that Keller stood guard at his building warding off looters, a city staple. He also supposedly hot-wired cars and boats to get to the grocery store to get food for those stranded.

Were those cars also under 11 feet of water? Where were these boats that he found? And if he went out grocery “shopping,” was he not looting, too? Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but we are suspect of any project about local Katrina heroes.

Regardless, the local news sources are gushing. Gushing like the Industrial Canal.

Is Keller a selfless hero? He has been quoted “I could have got in that boat and paddled my ass out of here,” according to the Times Picayune in 2007. “What made me stay was the old people. I just realized that nobody else in here could have gotten those people out. They would have sat in here for five more days. And they didn’t have five more days.

Sources report that he and a cousin had the forethought to document his efforts on video and in photos.

Some accounts put Keller at a “hulking” 6’ 7” 260 pounds.” Aside from warding off bad guys, stealing boats and cars, and playing Robin Hood, it seems he directed the rescue of the residents from the roof of their five-story building.

Ok. Maybe it’s true, but we are unclear on this guy’s Marine Corps lineage, though the city has a large Marine Mafia presence. More on Keller and his Corps career when we can get the Corps to dish on this man.

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