WICKED Book Series to Become Films; Spielberg Maybe Directing Adaptation of THE 39 CLUES?

     October 22, 2009

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Thanks to the success of “Twilight” it looks like we are going to get a couple of adaptations of other successful book series which are aimed at the young-adult crowd.  Most of these will be pitched as “It’s like Twilight meets…” and the latest book series that is on its way to the big screen, “Wicked”, is being sold as that.  The project is being described as “‘Twilight’ meets ‘Wanted’ with witchcraft” and will probably become a franchise at DreamWorks.  Also, Steven Spielberg might jump in on this book series craze by maybe directing an adaptation of “The 39 Clues”.  You can get all the details after the jump.

Writing partners/brothers Aaron and Matthew Benay (Brad Bird’s upcoming “1906”) have sold their pitch for “Wicked” to DreamWorks.  The book series written by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié tell the story of Holly Cathers, who moves in with an aunt after her parents die and becomes drawn into a dark world of secrets and magic. Even though there are five books in the series the Benay brothers will be building their script from only the first two books.  I’ve never heard of the book series until today but they do seem to be popular with the young kids and I’m going to assume that Dreamwokrks knows this and is hoping for a franchise with this property.

In other DreamWorks news, the studio is also developing another adaptation and franchise based off of a popular book series with “The 39 Clues”. The educational children’s book series written by Rick Riordan and published by kid friendly Scholastic follows the adventures of siblings Amy and Dan Cahill as they search for 39 clues which are scattered around the world. THR’s The Heat Vision Blog tells us that frequent Spielberg collaborator Jeff Nathanson (“Catch Me if You Can”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) will be writing the screenplay and that Spielberg might direct.

I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Spielberg direct an adventure movie for kids since I miss his Amblin days, but I just don’t see this happening.  Spielberg is one of the busiest director working today and I just can’t see him adding yet another movie to his growing list of projects.  If you guys remember he is currently attached to an unnecessary remake of “Harvey” , an adaptation of Michael Crichton’s “Pirate’s Latitude“, a Lincoln biopic, and hopefully he still has his long talked about sci-fi film “Interstella” coming up.  So who knows,? Maybe he will decide to add one more project to the always growing list.

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