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Sheen Movie To Portray Rodriguez 9/11 Heroism

PHILIP RECCHIA / New York Post | August 21 2006

The next 9/11 tale to hit the silver screen could be that of a World Trade Center janitor whose heroism helped save hundreds of lives.
William Rodriguez says he is in talks with actors Charlie Sheen and Esai Morales to turn his riveting story into a feature film - and a top writer-director, David Marconi, is already involved in the project.

In a strange twist on the usual 9/11-hero tale, Rodriguez had pursued a federal lawsuit charging that the Sept. 11 attacks were a conspiracy orchestrated by President Bush to justify wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But the lawsuit, which named Bush and 54 other government officials and agencies, was dismissed in June. And Marconi says the film would be a straightforward tale of heroism.

Responsible for cleaning the stairwells of the north tower, Rodriguez - a 20-year veteran custodial staffer - had the only available master key to the WTC complex when the first hijacked plane struck.

He led firefighters up floor after floor, unlocking doors and aiding rescue efforts. But when he got to the 39th floor, the second plane hit and he was forced to evacuate.

The last person to escape the tower before it collapsed, Rodriguez was buried under the rubble for an hour before being rescued.

Rodriguez met Sheen, Morales and Marconi last month at a 9/11 conference in Los Angeles. "Charlie told me, 'I'd be honored to turn your story into a movie,' " Rodriguez said.

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