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Will Will Obama Be?

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 31, 2006 5:02PM

3_G.jpgAnother item for the Cart Before the Horse file: Will Smith was in town last week for the Chicago premiere of his new film The Pursuit of Happyness. In the film he plays real-life Cinderella man Chris Gardner, who went from being homeless on the streets of San Francisco to managing his own very successful investment firm here in Chicago. That's not the real story however. The real story is that Will Smith wants to play Barack Obama in a movie.

According to the Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker, Smith admitted that the concept was "appealing, 'but of course he has to write the third act in a couple of years.'" Smith added, "There's absolutely going to be a third act and I believe [Obama] is going to be the hero."

A simple Google search reveals that this "story" has got some legs: although Zwecker's column originally appeared last Friday, it's been picked up by dozens of other sites. Premature jubilation aside, we have a few good reasons to snicker about the whole thing.

First Qualm: If you were thinking about making a movie about Obama, wouldn't a documentary be better? Get Kartemquin on board and let 'er rip. By our estimation, Barack hasn't even written his second act, let alone his third. And what actor could possibly replicate Obama's real-life charisma and presence? The fictionalization of life has always been a pet peeve of ours; an overstuffed Oscar-mongering bio is no match for a well-made documentary.

Second Qualm: Will Smith as Obama?! The real Obama has been known to describe himself as a "skinny kid." He's lanky and angular. Will Smith is not lanky, not angular, and not skinny. He'll always be the Fresh Prince to us.