EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment has acquired The Boy Who Played With Fusion, the true story of Taylor Wilson, a 14-year-old Arkansan who became the youngest ever to achieve nuclear fusion. They are negotiating with Take Shelter and Mud writer-director Jeff Nichols to develop the film as a helming vehicle. The film will be developed through Chernin’s deal with Fox. Published in the March 2012 issue of Popular Science magazine by Tom Clynes, the article details an exceptionally smart and curious kid and what happens when his ordinary parents who didn’t quite understand how he’d become so gifted, gave him the room and encouragement to nurture his great gifts and passion for nuclear science and experimentation. When his grandmother became ill, the youth became involved in an attempt to harness the short-lived isotopes that kill cancer cells and then deteriorate before they harm healthy cells — in hopes that the cancer-curing isotopes could be generated on site at hospitals and save lives. He later harnessed his discoveries as an alarm system to root out dirty bombs in shipping containers. His story is contrasted by that of another brainiac whose brilliance was not encouraged and whose secret attempt to build a breeder reactor in a backyard shed ended with controversy and a Superfund team clad in hazmat suits hauling away his family’s contaminated belongings. Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping will produce.
CAA reps Nichols, and the story deal was brokered by UTA for Clynes through his publishing agent McCormick & Williams. UTA also repped the teen.