National Treasure

Stop Panicking!! ‘National Treasure 3’ Might Still Be a Thing!

So, what priceless historical document do we have to steal to reveal a timeline??

After two super-successful National Treasure films in 2004 and 2007, the third movie (that would make it a trilogy) has been in development hell for 15 years. There were some rumors a decade ago that Disney bought some domain names, one is broken, and a crypto guy owns the other. Instead of taking in the entire history of this messy road to more movies, let’s weed through the most prominent updates of the last two years.

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In May 2020, in an interview with Collider for Hightown, Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed they were still working on getting it made. Here, he also said this was separate from the TV version. In March 2022, while on tour for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Cage expressed to The Hollywood Reporter that it’s fun to think about continuing the series (in reference to Face/Off 2 as well), but it probably wouldn’t happen. Further muddying the waters, in late May 2022, Reddit AMA from the Top Gun: Maverick account said the script was being worked on again with Cage in mind. Confused? Same y’all.

In scouring the internet (and deciphering what are credible truths versus speculative scraps), it seems like visible industry professionals are trying to make this happen beyond Bruckheimer. This includes the director and producer of the first two films, the Meg, and a Lincoln Project ad, Jon Turteltaub. He, Bruckheimer, and (now added) Chris Bremner (Bad Boys for Life) have maintained that this is happening even before it became an internet meme like Valve gamin. They clarified that the show would go on and be separate from the Disney+ series.

The National Treasure show

In March 2021, Disney began releasing information on their show National Treasure. Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding and Queen of Katwe), the show is set to star young Lisette Alexís Gutiérrez as the lead character and DREAMer Jess Morales. The 10-episode first season is supposed to explore “timely issues of identity, community, historical authorship and patriotism” through a story about rescuing Pan-American (alarmingly vague) treasure. While there’s no news on Cage or Kruger, Bartha is confirmed to be returning as his tech support, Riley Poole. I’d be shocked if Nicholas Cage didn’t appear as a surprise cameo.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ca52wG6r6C2/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

While there is so much potential and conversations to be had about the details of this installment, I’m very cautious, considering this is still under the wing of Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Many of these movies were my favorites in my tweens, but the portrayal of race and ethnicity was beyond abysmal. Some of the most famous bad examples of this within action-adventure and TV dramas in the later 2000s and the 2010s were under this company. This includes Prince of Persia, The Lone Ranger, Pirates of the Caribbean, CSI, etc.

Despite having a woman of color (Nair) direct at least the first episode and a diverse lead cast, the behind-the-scenes representation is always critical, especially with all the sensitive topics at hand. As we’ve seen with shows like Falcon and Winter Soldier, the streamer struggles to address complicated topics like patriotism and broader culture beyond a pre-teen’s understanding. Which, to be fair, might be the target audience. We won’t know ’til the trailer and press tour begins.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Author
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.