New Details on Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN and Brett Ratner’s THE 39 CLUES

     September 20, 2011


Steven Spielberg will be giving audiences a one-two punch this December when he releases the 3D motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin on December 23rd and follows it five days later with the drama War Horse.  He’ll follow these two films with his star-studded biopic Lincoln.  Spielberg tells the Orlando Sentinel [via The Film Stage] that the film, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, will focus on the last four months of the 16th president’s life.  Furthermore, the drama won’t be a “battlefield movie”, but “there are battles in it, and being in Virginia, we have access to those historic battlefields. It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life.”  I hope the film begins with Lincoln being super-excited for that new play coming to Ford’s Theatre.

The film stars Daniel-Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Todd Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, David Strathairn as Secretary of State William Seward, Walton Goggins as congressman Wells A. Hutchins, and Lee Pace as New York City mayor Fernando Wood.  Spielberg says Lincoln “will be purposely coming out AFTER next year’s election. I didn’t want it to become political fodder.”  Hit the jump for details on The 39 Clues.

Spielberg is also producing Brett Ratner’s adaptation of the interactive children’s book The 39 Clues.  Spielberg was once attached to direct the project himself, but then Ratner came on board to helm the film this past May.  The books blend together the individual novel with collectible cards and an online game.  Spielberg says they’re hoping to get the film into production next year.

Here’s the synopsis for the first book in The 39 Clues series, The Maze of Bones [from Amazon]:

When their beloved Aunt Grace dies, Dan, 11, and Amy, 14—along with other Cahill descendants—are faced with an unusual choice: inherit one million dollars or participate in a perilous treasure hunt. Cahills have determined the course of history for centuries, and this quest’s outcome will bring the victors untoward power and affect all of humankind. Against the wishes of nasty Aunt Beatrice, their reluctant guardian since their parents’ deaths, Dan and Amy accept the challenge, convincing their college-age au pair to serve as designated adult. Pitted against other Cahill teams, who will stop at nothing to win, the siblings decipher the first of 39 clues and are soon hot on the historical trail of family member Ben Franklin to unearth the next secret.

Adeptly incorporating a genuine kids’ perspective, the narrative unfolds like a boulder rolling downhill and keeps readers glued to the pages. As the siblings work together to solve puzzles and survive dangers, they develop into well-drawn individuals with their own strengths and personalities. Supporting Cahill cast members come across as intentionally exaggerated caricatures, adding to the tale’s breathless fun. The book dazzles with suspense, plot twists, and snappy humor, but the real treasure may very well be the historical tidbits buried in the story. Part of a multimedia launch including a Web site, collectable game cards, and a 10-title series (penned by different authors), this novel stands solidly on its own feet and will satisfy while whetting appetites for more.



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