How long is too long between film sequels, exactly? It’s been 12 years since the last time we followed Nicolas Cage’s Benjamin Franklin Gates on an absurd adventure revolving around American historical artifacts, and it’s an entirely different cinema landscape. Back then, Iron Man hadn’t even hit theaters yet, properly kicking off the MCU as we know it. It may be just over a decade, but in another way it almost feels like ancient history.
Still, that apparently isn’t stopping Disney from exploring the idea of dusting off the National Treasure franchise. During the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger briefly addressed the fact that they were looking into the long-gestating National Treasure 3 with producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
According to Iger, the producer “would like to make a third movie, and I know that discussions about that film have gone on, probably since 2016, with our studio. But I know they have not greenlit such a film.”
Still, it feels novel to even be talking about National Treasure in 2019, does it not? Both films (the 2004 original and 2007 sequel Book of Secrets) were panned critically but very successful at the box office, bringing in a combined $804 million. Disney might believe there’s still another $400 million-plus score waiting for them, should they put that National Treasure crew back together, starting with star Nicolas Cage and director Jon Turteltaub.
As for Cage, he expressed interest in making a third entry in the series … in 2007. Now, 12 years more frazzled, caked in the still-drying blood of Mandy and deep into a series of ever more implausible hairstyles, you have to wonder if he’d even be interested in returning to something as simplistic as National Treasure—or whether that big Disney paycheck would be impossible to pass up.
Our gut says that if Disney comes to Cage with a good offer, we’ll see National Treasure 3 before too long. We look forward to a plot that revolves around decoding the hidden message of the Gettysburg Address, which gives coordinates to the ancient, pre-American continent of Lemuria, where the founding fathers were born as part of a vanished civilization of warrior-philosophers.