Steven Spielberg Looks to Direct `The 39 Clues'

NEW YORK (AP) - A multimedia-multi-author narrative being planned by the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter books has picked up a famous patron: Steven Spielberg.

DreamWorks Studios has acquired the film rights to ``The 39 Clues,'' a mystery series-online game that Scholastic will debut in September. Spielberg, director of ``Jaws,'' ``Schindler's List'' and the ``Indiana Jones'' films, says he's hoping to direct.

```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 Wednesday in a joint statement issued by DreamWorks and Scholastic Media. ``Together with Scholastic, we have the opportunity to develop this property that says `film,' `family,' `fun' and `franchise.'''

``The 39 Clues,'' which also features a set of 355 collectible cards, is a planned 10-book series about a powerful, mysterious family that lives in upstate New York. The first installment, ``The Maze of Bones,'' was written by Rick Riordan, author of the best-selling ``The Lightning Thief.'' Jude Watson and Gordon Korman are among those who will write future volumes.

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