Disney takes 'Science Fair' prize

Nabs family adventure spec from writer John Sullivan

Give that guy his blue ribbon.

Writer John Sullivan has sold his family adventure spec "Science Fair" to Disney for $275,000 against $575,000. With echoes of "Night at the Museum," the screenplay centers on a science fair where all of the kids' projects -- think papier-mache volcanos and fungus -- come to life.

A mild bidding war broke out last week between Walden Media and Disney until Buena Vista Pictures president Oren Aviv and executive vp production and development Brigham Taylor pocketed first prize.

Energy Entertainment is partnering with Broken Road Prods.' Todd Garner and Sean Robins, who helped develop the script. Broken Road and Energy recently teamed on the sale of "Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty," written by Adam Sachs, to Lionsgate.

Producing deals on "Science Fair" still are being negotiated.

Sullivan, who is repped by ICM and Energy, hatched the idea with manager Jake Wagner last year during a late-night Hollywood brainstorming/drinking session.

"I grew up on stuff like 'Explorers' and 'Goonies' and 'Weird Science,' " said Sullivan, whose mother teaches sixth grade. "I really wanted to explore something that was more family-friendly and something that I would actually like to go see myself if I was 12-16. There's a lot of wish fulfillment in that. Movies like this are just fun to write."

Energy also has "Galahad," by Ryan Condal, set up at the Film Department and "The Low Dweller," by Brad Ingelsby, at Relativity Media, with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star.