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This Kid Puts Your Life To Shame: ‘Jeopardy’ Wiz Gets Cast In a Movie With Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock

by Cas Ruffin on Dec 15th, 2010

Thomas Horn, a wiz kid (totally 80s word) who took home $31,800 in prize money and won first place on Jeopardy, has now decided to become an actor. I’m sure that has nothing to do with overbearing parents pushing their kid to succeed at the expense of his childhood.

Director Stephen Daldry has set Thomas Horn to play the lead role alongside Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the Eric Roth-scripted adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed novel for Warner Bros and producer Scott Rudin.

Daldry needed an exceptionally intelligent kid to play Oskar Schell, the bright and precocious 9-year old whose father is killed in the World Trade Center collapse. The youth finds a key left behind in his father’s belongings, and sets out on a cathartic journey to uncover the lock. Horn is something of a wiz kid himself, making national headlines in October when the 12-year old won first place on Jeopardy!, winning in a $12,000 final wager that brought him $31,800 in prize money. Horn has already signed with ICM, the agency that also reps young thesps Hailee Steinfeld, (a revelation in True Grit), Abigail Breslin and Kodi Smit-McPhee from Let Me In. [Deadline]

I’m wondering why they needed an exceptionally intelligent kid for this role. Couldn’t they just cast a child actor who was good at acting intelligent? Stop confusing me, Hollywood! The kid is obviously smart, but Jeopardy genius at his age just screams “evil” or “virgin.” I’m sure the latter isn’t his fault since his balls have probably not dropped yet. But trust me. He will be hearing that word for years to come.

E-mail the author of this post at casruffin@northhollyhood.com

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