The National Treasure movies, while preposterous in plot, are actually quite good pieces of escapist entertainment. Who doesn’t want to see Nicolas Cage steal the Declaration of Independence or clear his family’s name of Lincoln’s assassination? Considering that the two movies collectively grossed over $800 million worldwide, it’s surprising that we never got a third entry. And it’s not just us that thinks so, but also Benjamin Franklin Gates himself.
Speaking with Deadline, Nicolas Cage championed the National Treasure movies as plenty of fun but was also blown away that Disney dropped the ball in building the franchise. “I mean, I enjoy them too, and I think Jon Turteltaub made a couple of classic films for the whole family. I’m still kind of amazed that Disney hasn’t wanted to make a third one. I thought the movies brought a lot of joy to the public, and it’s certainly interesting about history, and I think all of that is worthwhile filmmaking.”
Instead of getting Nicolas Cage, say, tracking down a scroll hidden in the drain of Taft’s bathtub, we got Disney+’s National Treasure: Edge of History, which ended up getting canceled after just one season. That may not look too promising for the future of National Treasure movies, although fans could muster some hope as star Justin Bartha did say that a script had already been written for a National Treasure 3.
Outside of National Treasure, Cage also thinks Paramount goofed on their promotion for another favorite of his, Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead. “The movie was marketed in such a way — probably because I had been making adventure films — that people thought it was going to be an ambulance action/adventure movie. Well, that’s not what it was. It was a very painful character analysis of a burned-out paramedic, based on a very good book by Joe Connelly.” Cage added that he hopes Bringing Out the Dead can get a resurgence in appreciation outside of what it did back in 1999. “But it was misunderstood, and I think that movie, maybe when it goes to high definition, will get another breath of life.”
Nicolas Cages’ career is undoubtedly a diverse one. Even just looking at National Treasure and Bringing Out the Dead, you can see this is a guy that has no limits as to what he thinks can make a good movie. As he put it, “You can dig deep and go into the more abstract stuff…or you can open it up and make a movie that pleases a lot of people and hopefully gives families a chance to escape a little bit from whatever may be going on at home or in the office. I think they’re all valid.”
What is your favorite Cage movie? Do you think a third National Treasure could be as successful as the first two? Let us know below!