Columbia Pick Up Swift

Boy wonder to hit the big screen

After many abortive attempts to bring him to the screen down the years, fictional inventor Tom Swift is finally making his cinematic bow after Barry Sonnenfeld and Ben David Grabinski convinced Columbia to take a punt on the boyish innovations.

Swift was the hero of a popular sci-fi series of novels in the early 19th century. Loosely modelled on such historical figures as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss, he invents all kinds of handy devices, including the arc light, portable movie camera and, er, a flying submarine which he then defends from dastardly villainous types.

It's safe to expect some updated ingenuity with **Men In Black 2 Sonnenfeld behind the camera. Sonnenfeld and Grabinski's version sees Swift forming one-half of a father/son team who are among the greatest inventors of all time. Albie Hecht, who oversaw the gothic oddity that is Lemony Snicket**, is producing.