Will there be another National Treasure movie? Here we go! Disney+ released the first two episodes of National Treasure: Edge of History this week. The series is an obvious spin-off in continuity with the films National Treasure (2004) and National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007).
Fifteen years had passed since the second film's release, which ended on a cliffhanger that strongly suggested the third installment. But the third installment is still delayed despite the passage of time. Fans of the franchise want more information and adventures set in American history and led by Nicolas Cage's Benjamin Gates, but a third film is still only an idea.
Will There Be Another National Treasure Movie?
The producers appeared keen to commit to a third feature right following the debut of Book of Secrets. In an interview with Sun Media from 2008, director and producer Jon Turteltaub said that production on a third film in the series was already underway. He said that the creative team was taking time to ensure the story was done well, but he was optimistic that the wait would not be too long.
Considering a third and possibly even a fourth film in the franchise, Disney quickly registered the IP domain. However, progress on the project appeared to halt as we entered the 2010s. Turteltaub predicted in 2013 that filming for a third installment would begin within the next couple of years.
But in 2016, Nicolas Cage informed Collider that a story was still being developed and fact-checked for historical authenticity, while franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer mentioned that a new team was taking up the project the year before. In 2018, Turteltaub revealed that the script was near completion, but Disney was still unsatisfied. He emphasized the company's focus on profitability and its skepticism of National Treasure as a potential moneymaker.
After more than a decade, the situation was still volatile. In early 2020, rumors of a third film surfaced again, and this time, Chris Bremner was credited as the film's official new screenwriter. It was also reported that Bad Boys For Life producer Jerry Bruckheimer would return to work with Bremner again. Even if this news was welcome for National Treasure 3, it came at the worst time. Hollywood's plans for 2020 did not pan out.
Despite no official word, it's probably safe to assume that the COVID-19 epidemic caused the production to be delayed once more due to the chaotic state of the film schedule. When asked by a Reddit user in April 2022 if there would be the third feature, Nicolas Cage said frankly, "No, the priority was to turn it into a TV program, so I would say probably not." No additional information regarding Bremner's involvement occurred.
Will There Be Another National Treasure Movie?
It's plausible that Cage lied to Disney under oath of secrecy to pull an Andrew Garfield. People watching the show shouldn't get their hopes up just yet. Since 2007, there have been many delays in the production of National Treasure (some of which have been more publicly explained than others), making the possibility of a third feature less plausible.
When the first release of National Treasure was made, Disney was in a different place. Adventure films can be popular and financially successful without being part of a larger franchise, as both the Chronicles of Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean series attest. Disney seems to save its theater releases for the Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar franchises now, with Disney+ acting as a safety net for its less financially secure endeavors.
Will There Be Another National Treasure Movie? National Treasure: Edge of History is a perfect fit as a Disney+ original series. Veteran franchise actor Harvey Keitel makes a cameo in the first two episodes as Peter Sadusky, but the show's focus is on a new, younger group of characters. Nonetheless, fans keep their fingers crossed that more connections will be made throughout the series, as GiantFreakinRobot.com recently reported that Nicolas Cage might return as Benjamin Gates in season two.
Justin Bartha is expected to reprise his role as Riley Poole later in the season. Edge of History might be used as a springboard to reinvigorate (or at least gauge) current interest in the franchise before recommitting to a third film. There's a chance that the mystery of Page 47 may be addressed in the Disney+ series, but it would be more rewarding to see it explored in a film again, this time with Cage's Gates as the protagonist.
Even though interest in the franchise has waned, the long gap will make National Treasure 3 feel like a legacy sequel, uniting fans of the first films from the early 2000s with new viewers who have discovered the property through Disney+. Despite the attention, it has received from fans and the marketing and production challenges it has faced, National Treasure still has many unanswered questions and tales to tell.
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