The National Treasure Series Just Cast A Big Name To Lead The Franchise

Disney's National Treasure series just got an A-lister on board!

By Michileen Martin | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

national treasure

Last month, most of the principal cast of Disney+’s upcoming National Treasure series was revealed, though there were a couple of things missing. First and most obviously, Nicolas Cage doesn’t appear to be involved in the project at all. Second, in spite of a diverse cast, there were no Hollywood A-listers to be found. Well, that changes today, as it’s been announced Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones will be co-leading the series.

As reported by Deadline, Zeta-Jones is joining the National Treasure cast as Billie: billionaire, treasure hunter, and black market business woman. The series will apparently open with a search for a Pan-American treasure, and Billie will be utterly devoted to getting the treasure for herself. According to her character’s description, however, Billie isn’t just after money. There is something deeply personal the billionaire puts on the line in her hunt. Zeta-Jones will co-lead the National Treasure series with Lisette Alexis (Total Eclipse) as Jess — a young Latina DREAMer and genius with a knack for puzzle solving. Like Billie, Jess has a personal motivation for her treasure hunt. Jess isn’t just looking for the Pan-American treasure, but for answers about her family.

Joining Zeta-Jones and Alexis in the National Treasure series are Lyndon Smith (Parenthood), Zuri Reed (The Get Down), Jason Rodrigues (Lady Bird), Antonio Cipriano (City on a Hill), and Jake Austin Walker (Stargirl). Smith plays the dishonored FBI Agent Ross, who sees the adventure as a way to redeem her name. Reed plays Jess’ social media influencer friend Tasha, but her best friend is Ethan (Rodrigues), who has carried a torch for Jess for years. Cipriano is a conspiracy theorist who doubles as comic relief, while Walker is Liam — a struggling musician who comes from a long line of treasure hunters.

national treasure nicolas cage

There had been rumors for a while that Nicolas Cage would be returning to the role of National Treasure‘s Benjamin Franklin Gates. But while nothing yet seems to indicate a cameo or guest appearance couldn’t be in the cards for Cage, theres’ a question of whether or not he’d want to. At the very least, judging by an interview Cage gave to Variety last July, steering clear of one of the few big continuing franchises he’s still associated with probably sits just fine with the actor. Speaking about his role in last year’s Pig, Cage talked about not wanting to make movies for big studios anymore and even used Disney as an example. “I don’t know if I’d want to go and make another Disney movie,” Cage said. “It would be terrifying. It’s a whole different climate. There’s a lot of fear there.”

Even though Cage won’t be there, a lot of the other creative minds behind the first two National Treasure films will. Jerry Bruckheimer produced 2004’s National Treasure and the 2007 follow-up National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and he’s on board as executive producer. Jon Turteltaub — who directed both films — is another EP, as are Cormac and Marianne Wibberly, who were writers on the movies.