Hint of Spielberg with 'Clues' scribe


DreamWorks has hired Jeff Nathanson to pen the screen adaptation of the first novel of "The 39 Clues," a multiplatform adventure series launching Tuesday from Scholastic Media.

The studio acquired the film rights to the property in June, and Nathanson will crack the first novel in the series, "The Maze of Bones," written by Rick Riordan.

Nathanson's involvement with the project lends extra weight to the possibility of DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg jumping into the director's chair. The scribe, who is repped by CAA, worked on three previous scripts for Spielberg: "Catch Me If You Can," "The Terminal" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (he ended up with story credit).

Scholastic Media president Deborah Forte is producing along with Spielberg. DreamWorks executives Adam Goodman and Holly Bario are overseeing for the studio.

"39 Clues" is designed as an interactive adventure for kids ages 8-12 that will involve books published simultaneously in several countries, online games and hundreds of collectible cards as readers compete to solve a mystery by searching around the world and through history.

The second book in the series, "One False Note" by Gordon Korman, will be released Dec. 2. (partialdiff)