National Treasure reboot

Every time I talk to director Jon Turteltaub, I have to ask about the status of National Treasure 3. The Nicolas Cage-led 2004 film is a delightful Da Vinci Code meets Indiana Jones-lite adventure and it spawned a not-as-much-fun sequel, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, in 2007. Fans have been asking for a third installment in the series for over a decade.

Now, it sounds like we may never get a National Treasure 3. More likely, Disney will be rebooting the franchise in some way for their announced direct to consumer streaming service.

National Treasure 3 has been in development for a long time now, Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders, Oceans 13) filed a script in 2011, but it wasn’t quite right. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer hired a bunch of screenwriters since then, and last we heard, even star Nicolas Cage seemed pretty down about the prospect of the threequel getting off the ground.

At the press junket for The Meg, I asked filmmaker Jon Turteltaub for another status update on the project. Turteltaub seemed pretty cynical that it will get made, but mentioned that it would probably happen as a reboot for the Disney streaming service. Here is an excerpt from my interview with Turteltaub.

***

Every time I see you, I have to ask about National Treasure 3.

I know.  

It’s my job.  I’m sorry.  

I need you, I really do, I need you to make a lot of money in the stock market so you can go finance this film.  I would make it tomorrow.  Finding the right script is hard.  It was brutal for the first two.  It’s still gonna be brutal for the third.  But I don’t think Disney wants to make it.  And I think they have other things they wanna make more.  But I’m telling you if we did another one–

Well, now they have a streaming platform.  So they need content.

Well, the fact is it’ll probably be made as a streaming film.  Which is great for some people and not great for others.  

They’ll reboot it.  Yeah, they’ll reboot Three Ninjas [Turteltaub’s 1992 family film].  

They’d be fools not to.  

***

I always have to find a way to mention Turteltaub’s 1992 Touchtone Pictures film, which partially helped launch his career. As much as I joke, I could also totally see Disney reboot Three Ninjas as a streaming service movie. If Cobra Kai can ride high on Karate Kid fever on YouTube, I’m sure Disney could make something of their very ’90s Karate comedy on their own streaming platform.

As for National Treasure, we don’t know how involved Turteltaub is on the project these days. His name isn’t even attached to the development title on IMDb, but he’s clearly in the know and would likely be involved as a producer. The fact that he says that it will “probably” happen for the Disney streaming service suggests the possibility has already been brought up at some point. But that is only my speculation.

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