The National Treasure movie series, starring Nicolas Cage, was a massive success that captivated audiences with its exciting and adventurous storyline. However, fans hoping for a third installment of the franchise were left disappointed when Cage announced that there would be no National Treasure 3. According to Cage, Disney is not the place to look for any treasure-related content in the near future.

The National Treasure series did make a brief return with the Disney+ TV show National Treasure: Edge of History. While the TV show brought back familiar faces like Justin Bartha and Harvey Keitel, it failed to capture the same level of excitement and engagement as the movies, leading to its cancellation after just one season.

The Absurdity of the Plots

The original National Treasure movie, released in 2004, followed the story of historian Ben Gates, played by Cage, as he raced to steal the Declaration of Independence before a group of mercenaries. The sequel elevated the stakes even further, with Gates kidnapping the President of the United States. The plots of the movies were undeniably outlandish but provided entertaining viewing for audiences.

The Star-Studded Cast

Apart from Cage, the National Treasure franchise boasted an ensemble cast of acclaimed actors including Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Christopher Plummer, Ed Harris, Bruce Greenwood, and Helen Mirren. The collective star power of the cast contributed to the success of the movies, with both films collectively earning close to $1 billion at the box office, without accounting for inflation.

The Failed Attempt at Franchise Building

Producer Jason Reed revealed that Disney struggled to transform National Treasure into a successful franchise that extended beyond just the movies. Despite the popularity of the films and their dedicated fanbase, Disney was unable to capitalize on the series through merchandise and theme park attractions. Reed highlighted the missed opportunity to leverage the success of the movies into a larger, more lucrative franchise.

While there were reports in 2020 of Disney moving forward with a potential National Treasure 3 and hiring staff to develop it, nothing concrete materialized. Cage’s recent comments further cast doubt on the possibility of a third installment, underscoring the unpredictable nature of the entertainment industry. The failure to expand the National Treasure brand beyond the big screen serves as a cautionary tale of the challenges of building a successful franchise in Hollywood.


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