May 21 2009
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith at Hammerstein Ballroom

Will Smith Takes on Hurricane Katrina Story: John Keller

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith were guests at a Turner broadcasting industry event last night, held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Be honest, outside of the Obamas, they are easily the best looking black celebrity couple on the map. You know, it’s that positive glow. On the action/cut side aka how they eat for a living, Jada will executive produce/star in the hospital drama Hawthorne on TNT premiering June 16. Jada plays Christian Hawthorne, the Chief Nursing Officer at Richmond Trinity Hospital. Get your sneak peek on over there.

On the big screen, Will Smith’s Overbrook Ent. and Sony Pictures are all set to revisit New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The movie will tell the story of John Keller. A hulking 6-foot 7, 260 pound,  ex-Marine, John Keller helped rescue 244 people after Hurricane Katrina wiped out the city. Will Smith is only listed as a producer for the project, but a snapshot of Keller’s story from reads like it’s perfect for him..

John Keller on cell phone. Hurricane Katrina

John Keller was hanging out in his apartment at the American Can Company on the Wednesday after Hurricane Katrina when he heard an explosive noise at his door—slow and rhythmic.

“Boom! Boom! Boom!” is the way he recalls it.

Somebody, he figured, was trying to kick down his door.

Keller’s instinct was to outsmart the intruder. So he got the timing down and then, just as the next kick was about to fall, he flung open the door. A young man about 25 years old came staggering through it, followed by two others. They were people from the neighborhood who had been in the building for a couple of days by then, people who came to seek refuge and wound up stuck in the place.

“He fell in my door and hit the floor, ” Keller says. “Rabble-rousers, kicking down doors to get what they could get, ready to seize control.

“I marched them out of the building and told them to stay out. I followed them out to the gate. I didn’t care if they couldn’t swim.”

That moment was a turning point for Keller.

It was then he began to emerge as the man in charge at the Can Company, a solid, five-story building that normally houses about 500 mixed-income residents, many of them elderly or handicapped.
Isolated by the water that rose 11 feet and crept into the lobby the day after the storm, the building became a tiny kingdom unto itself on Orleans Avenue in Mid-City. For five days, Keller was its undisputed monarch.
- Ex-Marine John Keller shepherded hundreds to safety following Katrina

Yeah, that’s a Will Smith movie.

☼ What's Your Opinion? ☼

1 Lucky Thu, May 21, 2009 - 4:40 pm

Chris G., Will and Jada are the best looking black couple. No disrespect to the Obama’s. Beyonce and Janet had the chance to be in the mix but they both picked raggedy looking men. LOL!!!!

2 shaheem Fri, Oct 01, 2010 - 2:48 pm

a will i love willow can i get her number i really like her so much yes or no will pick one and tell jaden that rap is hot and willow song to love shaheem