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Universal in Talks to Pick Up '39 Clues' (Exclusive)

The project, adapted from Scholastic's 10-book adventure series, is being acquired out of turnaround from DreamWorks.

The 39 Clues Book Cover - P 2013

Universal is getting a clue. Thirty-nine of them, to be exact.

The studio is in negotiations to pick up 39 Clues, the adaptation of Scholastic’s 10-book adventure series, out of turnaround from DreamWorks.

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Scholastic president Deborah Forte is attached to produce.

The book series was part of a multi-platform media puzzle chase that included collectable cards and an online game. At the heart of it was the story of the Cahills, billed as the most powerful family in history. Two siblings, who just discovered their heritage, are thrust into a race with their more devious relatives to uncover 39 clues in order to find ultimate power.

DreamWorks picked up movie rights in 2008 as a potential vehicle for Steven Spielberg. During the development process, a script was written by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) and eventually attracted Shawn Levy as director.

Levy is not part of the new deal, and it is unclear at this point if Nathanson’s script will move to Universal or if the studio will commission a new screenplay.

E-mail: Borys.Kit@THR.com
Twitter: borys_kit