National Treasure 3 Still In The Works With Nicolas Cage?
National Treasure 3 has seemed dead in the water for years but recent developments hint we might be seeing Benjamin Franklin Gates again.
For a certain kind of Nicolas Cage fan, National Treasure 3 is a white whale. Though the legendary actor (sorry, shamanic thespian) has explored essentially every genre of film imaginable in Hollywood, it seems somewhat unlikely that Cage will ever return to the kind of family-friendly Disney adventure film the National Treasure franchise epitomized. However, Jerry Bruckheimer, the original producer behind the films and many more in which things blow up dramatically, has recently been hinting that a National Treasure 3 including the original Benjamin Franklin Gates himself may still be in the works.
Jerry Bruckheimer is doing pretty well for himself, considering the long-delayed Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, is currently blowing away critics and the box office competition. It seems the massive success of the Tom Cruise vehicle is making him consider reviving some other old properties. Per Deadline, Bruckheimer says that National Treasure 3 is in active development, despite Disney currently working on a streaming series based on the franchise. In a Reddit AMA, Bruckheimer also indicated that a script for National Treasure 3 is being written and that he seems to be open to Nicolas Cage returning.
This might have to be taken with a bit of a grain of salt. After all, it is a producer’s job to constantly be developing projects and working as many angles as possible, even one as powerful and well-known as Jerry Bruckheimer. The fact that Disney is also working on a project based on National Treasure (but definitely not National Treasure 3) could be some kind of conflict. However, given that the Disney+ series is being presented as something of a soft reboot or spin-off, it does not completely dismiss the possibility that a direct sequel to National Treasure: Book of Secrets could be a possibility.
However, all of this would depend on whether Nicolas Cage himself is interested in returning for National Treasure 3. If one asked that question five years ago, the answer would have undoubtedly been a resounding yes, though it seems you could have gotten Cage on board for any number of cheap action movies and odd genre exercises. However, since Nicolas Cage has gotten himself out of his well-publicized dire financial straits, he might be a little pickier about roles. On the other hand, he is making a movie in which he plays a red-velvet clad Dracula to Nicholas Hoult’s Renfield, so he clearly is still up for a fun romp. If nothing else, the National Treasure movies were always that, so National Treasure 3 is potentially never off the table.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets did seem to set up the franchise for a National Treasure 3, but a number of factors got in the way. Notably, the high-profile failure of other family adventure films starring Nicolas Cage like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice put his Disney prospects on hold, as did Disney’s pivot to pushing Star Wars and MCU films as their priority. The actor himself indicated that Disney was currently leaning towards supporting their Disney+ series over a proper film sequel, which is also in line with recent trends towards using the streaming platform over traditional theater releases. But if National Treasure 3 does ever come out, we had better find out just what was on page 47 of the Book of Secrets.