Months before Scholastic’s multimedia publishing program, The 39 Clues, launches, anticipation isn’t the only thing building. The print run for the first book, The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan, has doubled from 250,000 to 500,000. And DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg have acquired film rights for the entire series in a deal with Scholastic Media. Spielberg will produce the films along with Scholastic Media president Deborah Forte, and he is reportedly considering directing.
“The 39 Clues takes creative leaps to expand the story experience from the pages of the books to multiple stages of discovery and imagination,” Spielberg said in a statement. According to Variety, Spielberg is expected to select a screenwriter in the next several weeks.
Along with 10 planned books in the series, 355 collectible cards will be available (the print run for the first card pack has also doubled to 500,000), and children will be able to participate in an online game on the 39 Clues Web site. The program, which launches globally on September 9, will unfold over the next two years. Scholastic will be giving away more than $100,000 in prizes in conjunction with the series. The winner of a $10,000 grand prize will be chosen from among those who find all 39 clues.
In addition to writing The Maze of Bones, Riordan outlined the story arc for the entire series, which follows members of the Cahill family as they try to determine the source of their family’s power following the death of their matriarch. The second book, One False Note by Gordon Korman, will follow in December, with the next titles to be written by Peter Lerangis, Jude Watson and Patrick Carman.