Jeff Nathanson to write ’39 Clues’

Spielberg may direct first installment in series

Scribe Jeff Nathanson is set to reteam with Steven Spielberg by penning DreamWorks’ first installment of “The 39 Clues,” the upcoming Scholastic Media multiplatform adventure series that Spielberg is eyeing as a directing vehicle.

Nathanson has worked on three of the helmer’s previous films: “The Terminal,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

Aimed at kids ages 8-12, “The 39 Clues” centers around the Cahills — the most powerful family the world has ever known. The source of its power is a mystery that can only be unraveled by assembling 39 clues hidden around the world throughout history.

DreamWorks, which is in the process of raising capital to end its current relationship with Paramount, recently acquired the film rights to “39 Clues.” Scholastic Media prexy Deborah Forte is producing.

Rick Riordan’s “The Maze of Bones” — the first book in what is envisioned as a 10-tome series of “The 39 Clues” — hits shelves simultaneously in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada on Tuesday, the same day that an official online interactive game launches. The second book, Gordon Korman’s “One False Note,” will be published Dec. 2.

DreamWorks co-chair and CEO Stacey Snider praised Nathanson’s “great sense of adventure touched with humor and suspense.” She added that he provides “just the right recipe for our family film.”

Nathanson’s credits also include the screenplays for “Rush Hour 2” and “Rush Hour 3”; “The Last Shot,” which he also directed; and “New York, I Love You,” which is scheduled for release next year.

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