EXCLUSIVE: Shawn Levy is making a deal to direct The 39 Clues, the 11-volume novel series that Scholastic Media began publishing in 2008. DreamWorks bought the project before the first book was published for Steven Spielberg to direct, and more recently Brett Ratner had been attached.

39 Clues Shawn LevyThe book is an adventure that includes cards and an online game that gives clues to a mystery with a cash prize for the kid who figures it out. The book series revolves around the Cahills, a powerful family who count Napoleon and Houdini among their relatives. The movie is framed as an epic family adventure about two ordinary kids whose discovery that they are part of the world’s most powerful family sets them off on a globe-trotting treasure hunt. The intention is to launch a family franchise, as Levy did with Night At The Museum.

Jeff Nathanson wrote the script, and Spielberg and Scholastic’s Deborah Forte are producing.

Levy, who last directed Real Steel for DreamWorks, is expected to next direct the Fox comedy Interns, a reteam between Wedding Crashers duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. He’s repped by WME.