Brett Ratner has 39 Clues and a Film is one

Brett Ratner is going from Ben Stiller and a heist to a potential franchise in the young adult realm. Deadline is reporting that DreamWorks has signed director him to helm the live-adaptation of the young adult book series “The 39 Clues.”

The “39 Clues” series centers on the Cahills—the most powerful family the world has ever known. But the source of the family’s power has been lost. Grace Cahill, the last matriarch of the Cahills, changed her will minutes before she died, leaving her descendants an impossible decision: receive a million dollars or a clue. The first Cahill to assemble all 39 clues hidden around the world will discover what makes the family so powerful—a reward beyond measure. It’s Cahill versus Cahill in a race to the finish, with readers hot on the heels of the main characters, fourteen-year-old Amy Cahill and her eleven-year-old brother, Dan.

This originally was acquired by DreamWorks for Steven Spielberg but he declined because of scheduling issues. Jeff Nathanson of Catch Me If You Can and Rush Hour 2 has penned the script.

Ratner just completed Tower Heist for Universal with Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck and Tea Leoni. It is scheduled for a November 4, 2011 release.

What does this mean? Ratner has been involved in franchises before, so signing him is a pretty savvy move by Dreamworks. He knows the ins and outs, having come in as a director for hire on X-Men: The Last Stand as well as helming the Rush Hour trilogy. It also is probably a good project and a great screenplay if it was developed for Spielberg.

This also screams of big money franchise for Ratner, as well, because of how massive the book series is. Eleven all told, the series is licensed in 22 different languages and also has collectible cards and an online gaming element to it. Ratner probably won’t have to worry about finding an audience because there’s a solid fanbase already built into it.

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