We’ve known for some time that a third National Treasure film is in the offing. Jon Turtletaub, who made the first two films and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, just signed to direct Unreasonable Doubt, but it looks like NT3 is moving forward anyway.
Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who wrote Rounders, Oceans 13 and The Girlfriend Experience and wrote and directed Knockaround Guys and Solitary Man, have started the script for the film. Additionally, they’ve adapted David Levien’s novel City of the Sun as a project to direct. Read More »
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On June 23rd 2010, I had an appointment to chat with Jon Turteltaub, director of the National Treasure films and Disney’s upcoming Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
I woke up early that morning, and headed down to the Apple Store at The Grove to pick up the new iPhone 4, which I had reserved. The plan was to crib for the interview while I was waiting a few hours in line to get the new phone. I had waited in line for the previous three iPhone launches at one of Apple’s flagship stores in the downtown San Francisco, I expected this to be quick and painless (or at least quicker and less painful than it ended up being). The few hours I had expected to wait in line quickly turned into multiples of that. And by the time my scheduled interview time approached, I found myself near the front of the line. I waited all day, and regretfully, I had to choose between calling it a total loss of my 10 hours and rush to the interview, or cancel the chat and get the iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, if I had known at the beginning of the day that I’d have to choose, I would have never gotten in line (actually, if I had known I was going to wait 11 hours in line, I would have never gotten in line…). I called Disney to see what I should do, and they told me I could probably reschedule the interview to another day and time, which was a big relief.
Thanks to the wonderful Disney publicists, I was able to get time with Jon on the phone the next week. By the time I talked with Jon, he had already done a week full of press, international, domestic and television. I decided the best approach was to ask him some questions, for the most part, out of the norm. The bad situation turned into to be the best possible result — I got to talk to Jon for over 30 minutes. For those of you who don’t know, a normal 1:1 interview lasts 10-15 minutes, resulting in a very fast pace as the interviewer is usually trying to cram all their questions in. The interview you are about to read after the jump has a much different pace (which is probably why Turteltaub allowed me to go over the scheduled fifteen minute time limit.
We talk about how Jon launched his career with Three Ninjas, Being pigeonholed as a kid movie director, How Phenomenon was originally supposed to star Harrison Ford and Holly Hunter, Becoming the “surprisingly good” director, Being a populist movie director who gets not-so-good reviews from critics/film snobs, the disappointments of National Treasure 2, the possibility of a Sorcerer’s Apprentice sequel, How he became involved in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Going to High School with Nicolas Cage and beating him out for the lead role in the school play, what it is like being a part of a “Jerry Bruckheimer production”, weaving science with magic, the choice to not film the movie in 3D, the choice not to post convert it to 3D, Balthazar’s Warehouse of Magical Artifacts, The Easter Eggs hidden in the movie, Where did the artifacts disappear to and the possibilities for a sequel, shooting the movie on location in New York City and shutting down traffic in Times Square for five nights, the troubles of trying to shoot a movie with “any kind of depth or any social relevance” (referring to the Greenpeace biopic he’s developing), Avatar, and more.
Read the full interview, after the jump.
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In National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Nicolas Cage‘s character Ben Gates goes after the President of the United States’ book of secrets, an unofficial book which contains the answers for the biggest coverups in American history. In addition to his mission to restore his family’s name, Gates is advised by the President of the United States to “read Page 47″. And of course, the information which is contained on Page 47 is never revealed, which many suspected might be a possible third film. Others wrote it off as nothing more than a throwaway gag.
But even if it was just a throwaway gag, we all know that can become something of franchise canon. For instance, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale never intended for a sequel for Back to the Future, and the ending of the film where Doc Brown returns from the future with a flying Delorean was just intended to be a funny gag to end the movie on. In fact, they didn’t decide to do a sequel until after the film became a big success, at which time they added the “To be continued…” caption to the conclusion of the film (it was never included in the theatrical print). The writers later stated that the ending gag in the first film painted them in a corner for the sequel.
So is Page 47 just a throwaway gag or will it be the starting point of National Treasure 3?
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Just prior to being fired, former Disney chairman Dick Cook announced National Treasure 3. For a moment, there was some doubt as to whether the third film would still be made after Cook was ousted. But with almost $800m in global ticket sales between the first two films, yes, it is happening. Again. And the guys who wrote Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for producer Jerry Bruckheimer are going to be the idea men. Read More »
A tipster at AICN claims to have inside knowledge Disney’s plan to make 2011 a year of sequels. Again, none of this is confirmed, but let’s take a look at what we know so far about the projects mentioned:
TRON 3D: It was reported last year that Commercial director Joseph Kosinski was in talks to direct “the next chapter” of TRON, although we’ve heard this isn’t necessarily a sequel (you can check out some of Kosinski’s commercial work here). Word is that Disney is shooting to release the film in Digital Disney 3D in Sprint 2011.
Cars 2: We’ve heard rumblings of a Cars sequel for the last couple years, and according to this report, Disney is shooting for a 2011 release. I find it hard to believe that Disney/Pixar really wants another Cars film, considering it took in less at the box office than Pixar’s previous efforts. Brad Bird also spoke of how sequels was not in Pixar’s business plan, while speaking at WonderCon 2007:
“At Pixar, the bottom line is the story that you’re telling. And Pixar does not look at sequels as a financial plan. We feel we have a relation ship with the audience and that they believe in each movie we put out. We believe completely in every movie we put out. If I can come up with a story that is as good or better than that first film, then I’d love to return to that world, but it would have to be story first.”
Pirates of the Caribbean 4: Disney has been developing a fourth film in the Pirates franchise following the release of At World’s End. Rumor has it that the new film will be a spin-off following Captain Jack Sparrow, the character played by Johnny Depp. Many have speculated that Depp will be on a journey to find either the lost city of Atlantis or a more contained budget-friendly search for the Fountain of Youth. I’m sure Disney is eyeing a late May, June or early July release as that was the release schedule for Black Pearl, World’s End and Dead Man’s Chest.
National Treasure 3: And while the AICN tipster knows only of a possible 2011 release date, Jim Hill reported last month on a plot description making the rounds: “which would supposedly send the Gates family off to Easter Island and beyond in search of Atlantis. More importantly, the pure, clean power source that was supposedly lost forever when this ancient civilization sank beneath the sea. Which – were it to be harnessed today – would immediately put an end to global warming. Not to mention making gas & oil obsolete.” Could this be the information hidden on Page 47 of the President’s book? The first two National Treasure films were released in November/December, to take advantage of the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays, so plan for Disney to repeat this formula.
Yesterday, Disney registered the domain named for NationalTreasure3DVD.com and NationalTreasure4DVD.com, spawning rumors that Walt Disney Pictures is planning back to back sequels. National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets was released 6 weeks ago, and has already earned over $365 million worldwide, already beating the overall take of the original 2004 film. So a sequel seems almost certain.
And now Jim Hill has learned of a brief plot description has been making the rounds “which would supposedly send the Gates family off to Easter Island and beyond in search of Atlantis. More importantly, the pure, clean power source that was supposedly lost forever when this ancient civilization sank beneath the sea. Which — were it to be harnessed today — would immediately put an end to global warming. Not to mention making gas & oil obsolete.” Could this be the information hidden on Page 47 of the President’s book?
But with the writers strike still in full effect, this is all just here-say.
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