Big Screen Adaptation of 39 Clues Series In The Works

Shawn Levy (Date Night, Night at the Museum) is working on a deal to direct the big-screen adaptation of The 39 Clues, the 11-volume novel series Scholastic Media began publishing in 2008.

Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) wrote the script and Spielberg and Scholastic’s Deborah Forte are producing. Originaly Brett Ratner was attached to direct the film adaptation, but he later dropped out and was replaced by Levy.

According to Deadline, DreamWorks purchased the film rights to the book before it was published, intending for Steven Spielberg to direct.

More than a typical novel, The 39 Clues includes cards and an online game that gives clues to a mystery. Readers who solve the mystery can win a cash prize.

The story is about the Cahills, whose relatives include the likes of Houdini and Napoleon. The movie is framed as an epic family adventure about two ordinary kids who discover that they are part of the world’s most powerful family sets them off on a globe-trotting treasure hunt.

The book’s official plot synopsis follows:

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: “You have a choice – one million dollars or a clue.”

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world’s most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family’s secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what’s important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

The 39 Clues is Scholastic’s groundbreaking new series, spanning10 adrenaline-charged books, 350 trading cards, and an online game where readers play a part in the story and compete for over $100,000 in prizes.”

The 39 Clues books set the story, and the cards, website and game allow kids to participate in it. Kids visit the website – – and discover they are also lost members of the Cahill family. They then set up online accounts where they can compete against other kids and against Cahill characters to find all 39 clues.

Through the website, kids can track their points and clues, manage their card collections, dig through the Cahill archives for secrets, and “travel” the world to collect Cahill artifacts, interview characters, and hunt down clues. Collecting cards helps: Each card is a piece of evidence containing information on a Cahill, a clue, or a family secret.

No other details have been released as of yet.

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