A ‘National Treasure 3’ is Still Alive at Disney

Published on January 17, 2020

In 2020, the National Treasure franchise is almost a relic of the past. The Nicolas Cage-led Disney adventures/Indiana Jones riff were solid hits for the mouse studio, but they weren’t mammoth Pirates of the Carribean-sized hits to immediately warrant additional sequels. Still, the franchise has a passionate fanbase all about watching Cage solving mysteries and kidnapping the President of the United States. There’s an appetite for more, which is why producer Jerry Bruckheimer is giving a long-in-development National Treasure 3 another shot with one of the screenwriters behind Bad Boys For Life

The Latest Development

According to The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Chris Bremner is currently working on the Disney sequel. It’s a buried piece of info in the story, which is about Sony already revving up for a Bad Boys 4, which is a wise move we’ll discuss momentarily. No other details are known about the National Treasure sequel, although all kinds of writers have come and gone from the project over the years. Bruckeheimer and director Jon Turteltaub never settled on one script, but after Bruckheimer worked with Bremner on Bad Boys for Life, clearly he was impressed, as he should have been.

Bad Boys for Life is a Damn Fine Sequel

Considering the very positive reception for Bad Boys for Life and the fact it’s on track for one of the biggest MLK opening weekends, Bremner did his job well on the sequel. He helped preserve what fans love about the original movies while still bringing it to 2020. It’s as new and fresh as ever, but with an old school ‘90s sensibility defined by the likes of Bay and Bruckheimer.

The sequel is everything a Bad Boys fan wants and more. Most sequels after 17 years of waiting don’t deliver, but it’s astonishing just how good Bad Boys for Life is. If Disney wants to bring back an old franchise of theirs with a fresh new perspective, Bremner is a fine choice to do it.

Why the Holdup on National Treasure?

Disney and their CEO, Bob Iger, haven’t showed much hunger in a third National Treasure movie. Maybe because they don’t make a billion dollars, but still, they’re solid hits for the studio. Back in 2016, Iger didn’t express much interest in the franchise:

We have done two, and yes they were really fine movies. I know Jerry Bruckheimer who produced them has had conversations with our studio a number of times about it, and there have been some developments along the way, but as of right now we have not green-lit as we say, a National Treasure 3.

Nonetheless, Turteltaub and Bruckheimer have kept working on making a third movie happen, despite Disney’s obvious lack of excitement. Back in 2017, Turteltaub told Slash Film he’d make the movie tomorrow, but it’s in Disney’s court:

I would make it tomorrow. Finding the right script is hard. It was brutal for the first two. It’s still gonna be brutal for the third. But I don’t think Disney wants to make it. And I think they have other things they wanna make more…

Yes Please to More Nicolas Cage Traveling the World 

Have you heard Nicolas Cage is searching for the holy grail? That’s not a joke — he’s really on the hunt for it. It’s been a personal passion project of his these last few years. Now, a documentary about that sounds incredible, but so does a National Treasure movie. The actor was a real charmer in those Disney movies. He’s not a typical Disney leading man, which was a part of his appeal in those films. Even when he’s playing a character like Benjamin Gates straight, Cage brings a little funkiness and flavor to it. Gates isn’t a defining role for Cage, but it’s a good one fans wouldn’t mind seeing him return to for one last ride around the world.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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