While superhero films like Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight Rises may toy with fictional nuclear fusion reactors in their plots, at 14-years-old, Taylor Wilson had already made a functional one. Now Chernin Entertainment has acquired the rights to his story, catalyzed by an article in Popular Science titled The Boy Who Played with Fusion. The company is negotiating with Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) to direct.
While the tale of Wilson’s genius is compelling enough, the article parallels another young scientist whose path diverged wildly (Hazmat units and arrests compared to Wilson’s accolades and continuing success), stressing the need for mentors who will foster the gifts of these young minds. Hit the jump for more on The Boy Who Played with Fusion.
Deadline reported on Chernin’s pick up of Wilson’s rights, although the boy is now a young man of 18 and his story continues to unfold. Not only did Wilson’s parents (his father, a former football player turned Coca-Cola bottler and his mother, a yoga instructor) continue to nurture his gifts and curiosity, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy offered to fund his efforts in creating radiation detectors at a fraction of their current cost.
Wilson is a name to keep an eye on in the future and, hopefully, the film adaptation will bring some light to his achievements. Under Nichols’ direction, The Boy Who Played with Fusion will hopefully encourage those gifted with scientific curiosity to pursue their dreams and those with the resources to provide for them. Do yourself a favor and read the full article on Wilson at Popular Science here.