The director’s carousel for the big screen adaptation of popular kids’ book series The 39 Clues just keeps on spinning. Nearly a year ago, Brett Ratner stepped in to take over for Steven Spielberg (talk about a huge downgrade…), but now reports indicate that Ratner’s out and a new helmer has entered the hunt.
That filmmaker is none other than Shawn Levy, whose previous credits include Night at the Museum and Real Steel. Okay, so he’s not exactly on Spielberg’s level either – but at least he has some experience making kid-friendly films.
The movie, which was inspired by an 11-book series (which also features a collectable card game), is aimed at young readers and chronicles the adventures of two kids who find out they’re part of a very famous historical family. They then set out on a grand adventure to find the 39 clues, which are ingredients to make a potion that will create the most powerful person in the world. Yep, this totally sounds like something that would appeal to Spielberg. It may not be The Goonies, but there are some definite similarities.
Spielberg has passed on directing the first film in what will almost assuredly be presented as a franchise, but he’s still taking a producer’s credit and will shepherd the project through production.
While Levy is now officially onboard, don’t assume this is the end of the line for directing changes. The filmmaker has a slate packed with projects in addition to The 39 Clues, including Interns – a new Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson project, a Pinocchio prequel, James Cameron’s take on Fantastic Voyage, and more. This may lead to scheduling conflicts – but the current plan is to make Interns then move forward from there. The 39 Clues would make sense as the next film for the director, since it already has a script and Ratner’s pre-production work in place.
We’ll be keeping an eye on The 39 Clues as it continues to follow the clues toward production.