Director Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand) has been tapped to direct the live-action adaptation of the Scholastic young-adult book series, The 39 Clues. According to Deadline, Ratner will once again collaborate with scribe Jeff Nathanson on the project which DreamWorks initially envisioned as a directing vehicle for Steven Spielberg (a studio can dream, can’t they?). Ratner and Nathanson have previously collaborated on Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3 and most recently on Ratner’s upcoming action/comedy Tower Heist. That film is due out later this year on November 4 and stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, and Tea Leoni.
As for The 39 Clues, the popular book series/online game/card collection recently published its eleventh installment which focuses on the Cahill family (a.k.a. “the most powerful family in the world”). For more on the series, hit the jump to check out a synopsis for the book’s first installment, The Maze of Bones.
Here’s the synopsis for The 39 Clues Book One: The Maze of Bones [from Amazon]:
When their beloved Aunt Grace dies, 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.
Adeptly incorporating a genuine kids’ perspective, the narrative unfolds like a boulder rolling downhill and keeps readers glued to the pages. As the siblings work together to solve puzzles and survive dangers, they develop into well-drawn individuals with their own strengths and personalities. Supporting Cahill cast members come across as intentionally exaggerated caricatures, adding to the tale’s breathless fun. The book dazzles with suspense, plot twists, and snappy humor, but the real treasure may very well be the historical tidbits buried in the story. Part of a multimedia launch including a Web site, collectable game cards, and a 10-title series (penned by different authors), this novel stands solidly on its own feet and will satisfy while whetting appetites for more.