Jon Turteltaub explains why National Treasure 3 hasn’t happened
In a conversation with Collider, director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, The Meg) discussed why a third installment of the National Treasure franchise hasn’t happened yet at Disney and why he thinks they should turn the story into a trilogy.
Turteltaub explained to the outlet that it all comes down to money: “When National Treasure first got made, there was a lot more money to go around. Everybody got paid nicely. The problem with getting the third one made isn’t the people who are getting paid saying, ‘I’m not doing it unless you pay me a lot!’ It’s really that Disney feels they have other films they want to make that they think will make them more money.”
The filmmaker disagrees with Disney’s position on not wanting to continue with National Treasure 3, saying the company doesn’t recognize that the audience wants to see more: “I think they’re wrong. I think they’re right about the movies they’re making; they’re obviously doing a really good job at making great films. I just think this would be one of them, and they don’t quite realize how much the Internet is begging for a third National Treasure.”
Turteltaub also shared that a script was being developed, but Disney’s lack of enthusiasm prevented the “close, but not so great” script from moving forward, even though the director felt it was good enough for the studio to have considered allowing development to continue until it was perfected.
National Treasure, starring Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock) and Diane Kruger (In the Fade, Inglourious Basterds), was released in 2004 and earned $347 million at the worldwide box office. The follow-up, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, made an additional $457 million worldwide for Disney.
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the story left off with National Treasure: Book of Secrets, following treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) as he once again sets out on an exhilarating, action-packed new global quest to unearth hidden history and treasures. When a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth surfaces, Ben’s great-great grandfather is suddenly implicated as a key conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s death. Determined to prove his ancestor’s innocence, Ben follows an international chain of clues that takes him on a chase from Paris to London and ultimately back to America. This journey leads Ben and his crew not only to surprising revelations – but to the trail of the world’s most treasured secrets. The movie also starred Justin Bartha, Jon Voight, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel, and Helen Mirren.
Have you been waiting for a National Treasure 3? Let us know if you would be down to see Nicolas Cage return as treasure hunter Ben Gates in the comments!