I'm sure you all remember the film Rain Man that starred Dustin Hoffman as a brilliant autistic savant and Tom Cruise as his self-absorbed a**hole of a brother. Well, this new biopic isn't based on the guy that inspired that film (his name is Kim Peek, and Rain Man was born after Peek met writer-producer Barry Morrow back in 1984), but it will be based on a guy just like him. Autism is a hot subject these days, what with a number of autism-related films currently playing the festival circuit. Thus, Warner Bros. wants in on the action, so they've gone and picked up the film rights to Born on a Blue Day, an autobiography written by Daniel Tammet, with plans to turn his story into a big-screen biopic. Di Novi Pictures will produce.
Like Peek (who can pick any date in history and tell you what day it was), Tammet is capable of some pretty extraordinary things. At only 28 years-old, he speaks at least seven different languages and can recite 20,000 digits of the letter pi by memory. As a high-functioning savant, Tammet possesses the rare ability to actually describe in detail what he sees on a daily basis (ie: colors, numbers). Having already made an appearance on the show 60 Minutes, Tammet has also been the subject of two documentaries: a British doc called The Boy With the Incredible Brain and a Discovery Channel doc, Brainman. While savants have always been fascinating to those of us looking for entertainment, the subject hits a little close to home for me as my brother-in-law is autistic. Hence, I will always welcome any and all autism-related film projects. The more that are out there, the easier it is for us, as a world, to continue an open dialogue.