There was a time when Steven Spielberg was attached to produce and/or direct seemingly hundreds of projects and one of the movies on his plate was a movie based on the popular Scholastic adventure series The 39 Clues, which DreamWorks Pictures optioned for Spielberg to direct before he moved on and Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy was attached to helm.
Since then, the project went into turnaround making the rights available to other studios and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Pictures are taking advantage of their lucrative year to come on board and negotiate a deal to adapt the popular books into a movie.
The interactive series tells the story of the most powerful family in history, the Cahills, and two siblings who are thrown into a race by their relatives to uncover 39 clues in order to inherit their power. It was a unique venture since it brought together nearly a dozen established writers including Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis, Jude Watson, Patrick Carman, Linda Sue Park, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Roland Smith, David Baldacci, Jeff Hirsch and Natalie Standiford. The first novel "The Maze of Bones" was released in September 2008 and within a few years, nearly 8.5 million copies were in print worldwide.
Levy is no longer a part of the deal to direct the movie, and there's no word whether Universal will want to retain any of the script that had been developed and written by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) for DreamWorks.