Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Disney has attached The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock to helm Electric Boy Genius, a film that will be scripted by Doug Wright about a real life Doogie Howser of electrical engineering. The film is based on a 2002 GQ article that Disney optioned years ago about Ryan Patterson. While in diapers, he was stuffing knives into electrical sockets and learning the power of electricity the hard way. After he watched his father do wiring work on the family home, the youth mastered the principles of electrical flow. He was building robots by the time he was in high school and developing innovations like an electronic sign-language translator. The GQ article, written by Andrew Corsello, told of Patterson’s entry into the 2001 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which he won. That got him a job working in aerospace robotics for Lockheed Martin.

Mayhem’s Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi are producing. They previously worked with Hancock on his directing debut, The Rookie. Hancock also directed The Alamo for Disney. Gray and Ciardi just produced Secretariat for Disney. Wright scripted the film Quills, and won the Tony for his 2004 play I Am My Own Wife. He also scripted a biopic of George Gershwin that earlier this year was a candidate for Steven Spielberg to direct, with Zachary Quinto starring.