It looks like the movie mythos shaped by the legendary Declaration of Independence heist of Nicolas Cage’s Benjamin Franklin Gates is getting a small screen expansion. That’s because National Treasure, the hit ‘00s film franchise, is the next property culled from the Mouse House’s IP catalogue to get a television series treatment on streamer Disney+.
Jerry Bruckheimer has revealed to Collider that he will return to shepherd a television series connected to the National Treasure franchise, presumably replicating his executive producer position from the hit films. Interestingly enough, we should expect the series to complement said film franchise, since a long-belated threequel, National Treasure 3, was revealed by Bruckheimer this past January to be in development; an idea he affirms to this day.
As Bruckheimer dishes on the National Treasure projects on the Disney developmental backlog.
“We’re certainly working on one [National Treasure] for streaming and we’re working on one for the big screen. Hopefully, they’ll both come together and we’ll bring you another National Treasure, but they’re both very active….The one for Disney+ is a much younger cast. It’s the same concept but a young cast. The one for theatrical would be the same cast.”
While Bruckheimer had nothing to divulge regarding the plot of the National Treasure television project, the bare-bones concept of a young cast at least implies an ensemble offering set in the film’s continuity, featuring an appropriate amount of treasure hunting. Yet, it might—at least in some indirect manner—bear some connectivity to the third film, which, upon its initial news, revealed the attachment of Bad Boys for Life writer Chris Bremner, and director Jon Turtletaub—who helmed the two existing films, National Treasure (2004) and National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)—is returning. Consequently, with key personnel in place, development for the new film is apparently moving along quite well.
As Bruckheimer explains of the current state of the National Treasure projects:
“The film version is being written right now. The television version is in process. We have a pilot script done and an outline of the future episodes.”
It will be interesting to see how the National Treasure franchise lives up to a test that seems to be taking shape as a major canonical expansion. It’s an especially challenging endeavor, seeing as we’re talking about a franchise that’s been dormant for 13 years now. However, it was a force in its heyday, with the 2004 first film earning $347.5 million worldwide, which would be topped by the 2007 sequel’s $457.3 million gross. However, the TV series has a challenge in its own right, since much of the franchise’s success hinged on the dynamic of the film’s cast, with Nicolas Cage starring as adventurer/historian Benjamin Franklin Gates, joined by Diane Kruger as girlfriend Abigail Chase and Justin Bartha as comic sidekick Riley Poole, brandishing banter during in-over-their-head archeological adventures connected to America’s secret history.
The presence of Bruckheimer—who’s been attached to some of the most important films in the action and adventure genres in the past 40 years—is certainly welcome for the film and television projects as far as Disney is concerned, seeing has he was integral in the development of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, which handled the lofty task of making a movie—an entertaining one, no less—out of a Disney theme park boat ride in which animatronic pirates belt jaunty “yo-ho” songs, ultimately yielding the collective result of over $4.5 billion worldwide from five entries spanning from 2003 to 2017.
We’ll keep you updated on the Disney+ National Treasure TV series as the news develops.