We imagine the pitch for National Treasure was something about a modern Indiana Jones movie with added ‘Merica and lashings of Nic Cage. When you put it like that, what is not to like? The two National Treasure movies do exactly what they set out to do, and are entertaining, undemanding fun. Rumors of a third movie have swirled for years. Now there is more movement.
On the promotional rounds for the digital release of Top Gun: Maverick next week, producer Jerry Bruckheimer was asked about the state of play on a third movie and said it is now all up to Cage. The script is being written, the project is spinning up, it just needs Cage to read the script and sign up:
“Let’s hope. We’re working on the script right now. Hopefully [Cage] likes it, but it’s really good. So I think we’ll get it to him shortly.”
National Treasure was released in 2004. Cage played Benjamin Franklin Gates, a historian and amateur cryptographer searching for a huge lost treasure of precious metals, jewellery, artwork, statues, and many other historic artefacts accumulated over time, becoming a massive stockpile. All of it was eventually hidden away by American Freemasons during the American Revolutionary War. A coded, unseen map, placed on the back of the Declaration of Independence points to the secret location of this “national treasure”, but Gates is not alone in his quest: Whoever can steal the Declaration, find the map, and decode it first, will discover the greatest treasure ever accumulated in history.
A sequel was released in 2007. Disney+ is also working on a National Treasure TV series that doesn’t feature Cage’s character, but instead follows a younger and “more diverse” cast because the modern entertainment industry has decided that Martin Luther King Jr was wrong about everything.
National Treasure: Edge of History, as the TV show is called, was thought to mean that a third movie wouldn’t happen, but Bruckheimer has been a champion of the franchise for a long time.
The National Treasure TV series will see Justin Bartha and Harvey Keitel reprising their film characters even without Gates appearing. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lisette Alexis, Zuri Reed, Lyndon Smith, and Antonio Cipriano round out the cast.