National Treasure 3 is coming and it’s long overdue. The first National Treasure was a huge hit for Disney back in 2004, earning nearly $350 million on a $100 million budget. The sequel, National Treasure: Book of Secrets did even better when it was released in 2007, pulling in nearly $500 million. It was a franchise trending in the right direction financially and then, well, Disney just sort of dropped it and never made another one.
At last, though, National Treasure 3 is happening and not only National Treasure 3, but a whole franchise of other National Treasure projects, which we’ll give you the full scoop on below.
Why Has It Taken So Long?
The people behind the first two National Treasure movies have been trying to get another one made for years. Given the stellar box office performance of the first two you’d think it would have been a slam dunk. But it seems that Disney has been against it, and blocking their attempts to get National Treasure 3 made for a very strange and very specific reason.
Producer Jason Reed recently spoke about their troubles getting National Treasure 3 made and explained it this way…
“I tried my damnedest to get National Treasure 3 up. I love those movies. I worked on those from inception. What I felt happened is even though the movies were extremely successful and had a really strong fanbase, it’s a movie that gets brought up all the time, the company was never able to capitalize on it as a franchise. It was more of a movie with a sequel and National Treasure 3 would have been another sequel.They never figured out a way to integrate it into the parks. It never caught on, even though there were a lot of consumer products, it never caught on as an independent franchise. That makes the numbers look different. It makes it harder to make a company like Disney focus resources on something when they can go make Toy Story or buy a cruise ship. And if the company itself had been really excited about moving forward with it and thought they could blow it out, we would have found a way to make the deal.”– -Jason Reed to Collider
Now National Treasure 3 is happening and perhaps it’s not a coincidence that it’s happening during a pandemic when all of Disney’s theme parks and cruise ships are closed are hemorrhaging money. Suddenly whether or not you can turn something into an attraction seems a lot less important.
The People Making National Treasure 3
Jerry Bruckheimer produced the first two National Treasures and he’s back at work on National Treasure 3 for Disney. Chris Bremner, who most recently wrote Bad Boys For Life, has been hired to write the threequel movie’s script.
No word yet on whether director John Turtletaub, who directed the first two National Treasure movies, will be back. That said, in 2018 he told /Film that if National Treasure 3 happened “I would make it tomorrow.”
More Than One
Reportedly Disney wants to make two National Treasure movies, not just National Treasure 3. They see huge potential here, though if there’s so much potential, you have to wonder what took them so long to bring this franchise back around.
National Treasure 3’s Returning Cast
At first there was indication on whether Nicholas Cage will return, but now various sources claim he’s coming back. And he’s coming back not just for National Treasure 3, but a National Treasure 4 as well.
Nic Cage is this franchise and given the current state of his career, he’s probably glad to have it back. That said, Cage is now 56-years-old and perhaps getting a bit too far up there in years to pull off a bunch of Indiana Jones style stunts. So don’t be surprised if they bring in someone younger to co-star with him and do a lot of the punching and jumping that may be needed for a National Treasure 3 adventure.
As for the rest of the cast from the first two movies, there’s been no word on whether they’ll return. But what else does Justin Bartha really have to do these days? Expect to see him, at least, show up.
The National Treasure TV Show
In addition to National Treasure 3 and National Treasure 4, Disney is working on a National Treasure TV series to run on their Disney Plus streaming service.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed the TV series is on the way to Collider saying, “We’re certainly working on one [National Treasure] for streaming and we’re working on one for the big screen. Hopefully, they’ll both come together and we’ll bring you another National Treasure, but they’re both very active.“
Don’t expect Nicolas Cage to appear on the National Treasure TV show though. Apparently it’s sort of a National Treasure for kids series. Bruckheimer says, “The one for Disney+ is a much younger cast. It’s the same concept but a young cast. The one for theatrical would be the same cast.” Expect something in the vein of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.