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Will Smith to Follow Up ‘After Earth’ With ‘American Can’ and ‘The Accountant’?

Garreth Cattermole, Getty Images

After last year’s ‘Men in Black 3‘ and this year’s ‘After Earth,’ it looks like America’s favorite superstar, AKA, Will Smith, may leap back into “serious” acting for a bit, putting aside blockbusters in favor of something a little meatier. Currently under his consideration are the Hurricane Katrina story ‘American Can’ and the action drama ‘The Accountant.’

This news (which we found via The Film Stage) suggests that Smith is attempting to recapture the acclaim that came with his roles in ‘Ali’ and ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ films that were both critical and commercial hits. Smith seemed to get cold feet around the whole “getting taken seriously” thing after the disappointing ‘Seven Pounds’ (which led to the desperate ‘Men in Black 3′ and him turning down ‘Django Unchained’), but it looks like that itch is at it again. And that’s a good thing: when he’s not just being Will Smith the Movie Star, he’s quite capable of being Will Smith the Exceptional Actor.

Anyway, ‘American Can’ would see Smith taking on the role of John Keller, a former Marine who helped protect and evacuate hundreds of people in his apartment complex during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It’s a project that Smith has been attached to as a producer for sometime (and he’s tried to get Denzel Washington to star in the past), but it  looks like he’s ready to step into the role himself. Right now, director Ed Zwick (whose credits include ‘Blood Diamond’ and ‘The Last Samurai’) is attached to direct. Meanwhile, ‘The Accountant’ couldn’t sound like a more different film, following an autistic government employee who moonlights as an assassin. Mel Gibson was once attached to direct, but that seems unlikely now.

We’ll probably know more about Smith’s future plans later this summer when ‘After Earth’ arrives.

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