After years of it being talked about, it looks like we’re finally getting a long-awaited National Treasure 3. We think. Maybe. We’re pretty sure.
THR broke a story that a Bad Boys 4 movie is happening – oh yeah, by the way, that’s happening, too – and buried in that story was a nugget that interested the internet more: Chris Bremner, the man being tapped to write that movie, has also been hired to write a script for National Treasure 3 for Disney. Jerry Bruckheimer is also reportedly back on board as producer.
The will it?/won’t it? saga of the third National Treasure movie has been ongoing for a while. The first movie hit theaters in 2004, with the sequel coming in 2007. Back in 2018, director Jon Turteltaub explained the holdup on the long-awaited third movie, claiming that Disney felt they had other projects further along that would make them more money. Back then, Turteltaub told Collider
“The script was close, but not so great that the studio couldn’t say yes. But it’s been good enough that the studio could have said, “Yes, keep going. Get closer.” [Producer] Jerry Bruckheimer is the master of taking something that’s good enough and turning it into something great in about an hour and a half. It’s a little nerve-wracking but it works.”
That may or may not have been the script mentioned on Twitter by writer Brian Koppelman, who said he’d worked on a script for NT3 with his longtime writing partner, David Levien, but it was ultimately passed on:
David and I did three drafts of National Treasure 3 a long time ago. They didn't seem to want to make that one our way. Looking forward to seeing what they all do! https://t.co/rAyIuIfm7J
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) January 17, 2020
Note that key phrase there, though: “a long time ago.” I said it may or may not have been the same script because this project has passed through a lot of writers’ hands. The development hell of the third movie has been going on since long before Turteltaub’s interview in 2018. In 2016, star Nic Cage said that the hold-up with the script was due to the writers having to fact-check so much, a process that is apparently incredibly complex and time-consuming with the National Treasure stories. Before that, speaking to Collider again in 2014, Cage said that Turteltaub was relaunching the whole thing again with a brand-new team of writers. And Bruckheimer has offered intermittent and changing updates on it basically since the second movie.
So, yeah. To say it’s been a bit of a long and winding journey is an understatement. It’s worth wondering why Disney is suddenly keen to do this now after feeling it wouldn’t be profitable before. Could it be released on Disney+? Is it that they feel Nic Cage is in his prime Keanu Reeves-ian post-ironic-Renaissance years? (i.e. fans used to love him, then liked him ironically, and now they’re back to genuinely loving him as a pop culture icon) Who’s to say? Either way, let’s cross our fingers that this time, the project sticks. Jumping back in the saddle with Benjamin Franklin Gates is what America needs right now to bring it back together, obvie.
I mean, who can’t rally around this?
We’ll keep you updated as more news breaks.