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Brett Ratner Lined Up to Direct Adaptation of '39 Clues' Book Series

by
May 9, 2011
Source: Deadline

The 39 Clues

Though the project was once said to be a potentiel directing gig for Steven Spielberg, it looks like the adaptation of the young adult book series The 39 Clues will have another filmmaker in the director's chair. Deadline reports Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand) will direct the adaptation of the book series which follows two siblings of the Cahill Family who have to choose between inheriting $1 million or taking on a perilous treasure hunt for 39 clues which will make them the most powerful and influential people on the planet. So far 11 books in the series have been published, but it's bigger than the books.

Apparently the series also integrates online gaming and card collecting to make for an interactive reading experience (or as others would call it: merchandising). For a more clear cut description of the plot of the first book, here's the official synopsis:

Dan, 11, and Amy, 14—along with other Cahill descendants—are faced with an unusual choice: inherit one million dollars or participate in a perilous treasure hunt. Cahills have determined the course of history for centuries, and this quest's outcome will bring the victors untoward power and affect all of humankind. Against the wishes of nasty Aunt Beatrice, their reluctant guardian since their parents' deaths, Dan and Amy accept the challenge, convincing their college-age au pair to serve as designated adult. Pitted against other Cahill teams, who will stop at nothing to win, the siblings decipher the first of 39 clues and are soon hot on the historical trail of family member Ben Franklin to unearth the next secret.

Jeff Nathanson, who has previously collaborated with Ratner on the Rush Hour series as well as his forthcoming action comedy Tower Heist with Ben Stiller, will adapt the series and I'd imagine there's an eye for a franchise from DreamWorks coming from this extensive book series. The adaptation has been in the works since 2008, but since Spielberg has opted to take on other projects like War Horse, not to mention finally shooting Lincoln this fall, the project has now been handed to Ratner. His involvement isn't exactly thrilling, but the premise seems like it has the potential for a great action adventure flick for a younger crowd, and it's been awhile since one of those has been truly great. Here's hoping Ratner gets a clue of his own and decides to deliver something cool. What do you think?

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  • Xerxexx
    Ew how does Ratner keep getting directing gigs.
    • Lebowski
      I know right? I suspect it's because he is an uninspired hack - the studio is sure of what they are gonna get. It will be crass, stupid, poorly acted and laughably edited, but it will do great with the mouth breathers. And that is where the money is.
      • Xerxexx
        Sad but true.
  • Yourmom
    Wow the story sounds ridiculous. Take the million bucks and call it quits. End of series. Sounds like another National Treasure borefest.
  • Jedi
    Ugh. My kids love these books. It's good that they love to read, but bad now that I'll have to sit through a series of terrible movies that had really good potential. Couldn't Brett Ratner take on a different film... Garfield Meets Marmaduke (in 3D, of course) sounds like it would be a better fit for him.

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