By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 10, 2010 at 2:38AM
One of the biggest surprises of last year was John Lee Hancock's "The Blind Side" that appeared seemingly from nowhere and went on to earn a Best Actress Oscar for star Sandra Bullock, and, becoming the Sarah Palin of the movie world, picked up over $200 million at the box office, mostly from the often-neglected 'fly-over states.' Bullock has seemingly finally picked her follow-up project, Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" (although word's gone worryingly quiet on that one again), and now Deadline brings news that helmer Hancock has signed on for his first film since "The Blind Side"'s monumental success.
The site reports that the director has put his... well, John Hancock, to a new Disney project, "Electric Boy Genius," which will be scripted by Doug Wright ("Quills"). The film, based on a 2002 GQ article, is about precocious electronics wizard Ryan Patterson, who developed an interest in electrics from an early age, building robots in high-school, and inventing a number of new items -- including an electronic sign-language translator -- which saw him spotted by Lockheed Martin, where he works in the aerospace robotics division.
The film'll be produced by Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi, who tried, and failed, to replicate the success of the "The Blind Side with "Secretariat." It all sounds a little by-the-numbers inspirational, which is the kind of thing Hancock specializes in, having made his studio directorial debut on the Dennis Quaid hit "The Rookie" (before being sent to director's jail for a while after helming mega-flop "The Alamo."
But having said that, Hancock was also behind the script for Clint Eastwood's underrated masterpiece "A Perfect World," so he is capable of good work. And the presence of the talented, Pulitzer Prize-winning Wright,who most recently wrote a George Gershwin biopic that Steven Spielberg came close to directing with Zachary Quinto in the lead, is a good sign too. There's no word of a start date, but we imagine it'll get going some time next year.