Back in 2004 when the first National Treasure movie was released, it introduced the world and the audience to a slew of characters they would go on to love. Despite not flying high in the eyes of critics, fans loved to see a historian steal the Declaration of Independence, especially since it was Nicolas Cage doing it. He portrayed the role of Ben Gates, alongside Justin Bartha as Riley Poole, who was his sidekick in the original movie.
The follow-up came in 2007, named National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, after which the series has stayed dormant.
We have now gone over 15 years since the last installment of the franchise, but it looks like that is about to change. A new Disney+ exclusive show called National Treasure: Edge of History is currently airing season 1. And with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and original star Justin Bartha fueling the excitement with bold claims, it seems that it's only a matter of time before we get National Treasure 3.
— Disney's National Treasure Series (@DisneyNT) December 31, 2022
In December 2022, producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed that development on the sequel was underway behind the scenes despite no headlines for it. In a chat with E! Online he discussed the trajectory of the franchise after National Treasure: Edge of History, claiming that Cage was a part of his future plans despite Disney’s wishes for a new cast. Just days later, Justin Bartha spoke with Variety, saying it was only a matter of time before the stars aligned and National Treasure 3 came to life.
This is his full quote from the recent interview:
But listen, there is still hope for another movie. Nic is obviously doing great, one of the greatest ever. Jerry [Bruckheimer] just had a big hit with Top Gun: Maverick, and he is doing great. And the constant drum beat from the fans for a third movie just makes it a no-brainer for me. There is a script. That’s all I’ll say. There have been a few different scripts, actually, but the one thing that has to happen is for all the stars to align. I had seen something awhile ago, and it was solid, but the unsung hero of these movies that doesn’t get mentioned as much is Jon Turtletaub. Those movies really are an extension of his being. He is very smart and funny, and has a buoyancy to him that mirrors the tone of the movies. I think he has to feel really comfortable and feel like he can see the movie before it happens — and it is getting closer to that.
With so many aspects of American history that the franchise hasn't expanded upon, who knows what the script for the third installment could hold. And while Nicolas Cage takes his time reading it, and deciding if this is a journey he wants to take at this point in his career, the rest of the people affected certainly hope so. Cage’s resurgence in popularity with Pig, Mandy, and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent could convince Disney to go ahead with the same cast, which makes Bartha’s ”stars align” comments more than figurative speech.
Speaking of Nicolas Cage, the prolific Hollywood legend recently revealed he'd like to do a musical.