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Jeff Nichols to Direct True Story 'The Boy Who Played With Fusion'

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July 31, 2012

The Boy Who Played with Fusion

Take Shelter is one of the most powerful films I've seen in a long time, so naturally I'm excited to see director Jeff Nichols' follow-up movie Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon (Alex really enjoyed it at Cannes). But while we wait for that one to get a release date in the United States, Nichols is moving on to other projects. Deadline reports that Nichols is negotiating to direct The Boy Who Played With Fusion, a true story based on a Popular Science article that profiled Taylor Wilson, the 14-year-old genius who became the youngest person in human history to achieve nuclear fusion. Read on!

The story sounds fascinating, as it will detail Wilson's peculiar upbringing (he asked for a construction crane for his sixth birthday and was memorizing the periodic table at age 10) as his parents encouraged his thirst for knowledge. When Wilson's grandmother got cancer, he essentially tried to find the cure by isolating certain isotopes and later utilized those findings as a way to uncover dirty bombs in shipping containers. It's a pretty incredible story of an Arkansas kid who built a nuclear laboratory in his parents' garage, and I'm really interested to see what Nichols will do with a story explores a different element of the male psyche than he did with Take Shelter. Nichols certainly knows how to keep you thinking long after you leave the theater, so with the right script and some solid casting, we could be in for something really special.

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  • DAVIDPD
    Wow. Really? I read that article when it came out in PopSci and thought it sounded interesting. The kid is creepy as f*ck though, like super introverted nerd (yeah. yeah. aren't they all?). They compared him to the other mad scientist kid, who actually did a similar backyard nuclear project, but ended up in...prison. The kid's parents seemed like tools. Oh, yeah, you mentioned the grandmother's cancer, what was kind of f*cked up was, that kid, saved some of her hair because it had trace amounts of radiation from the radiation therapy she received. Weird kid.
    • I watched him at TED on Youtube. He really knows how to pat himself on the back. Smart as hell, but he is a little strange as many genius' are.
      • DAVIDPD
        Figured as much...
  • Pretty cool! Soon we will have fusion-powered motor homes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro5-QYqqxzM
  • My kid draws princess dresses and wants to climb trees and stuff. What a failure I am. I want a kid who builds nuclear bombs.
    • Yeah, but how many times a night do you have to get up to find "baby" and "purple bear"? If I got a dime every time... You get the point. I just want a kid to find the cure for itchy asshole.

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