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Here’s why ‘National Treasure 3’ never happened

‘Mulan’ producer Jason Reed spoke with Collider about the ‘National Treasure’ movies

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Helen Mirren, left, Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger star in “National Treasure: Book Of Secrets.”

Helen Mirren, left, Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger star in “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”

Robert Zuckerman, Associated Press

Why didn’t “National Treasure 3” ever happen? We might have an idea now.

Some context:

“National Treasure” is a Disney film starring Nicolas Cage that told of a treasure hunt to find a, well, national treasure through clues associated with history.

  • The film spawned a sequel — titled “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”— that performed well at the box office with more than $450 million in revenue. The film hinted a third film.
  • The third film never came.

Why didn’t ‘National Treasure 3’ happen?

“Mulan” producer Jason Reed — who worked on the “National Treasure” movies as a production executive — just explained to Colliderwhy the third films never happened.

What I felt happened is even though the movies were extremely successful and had a really strong fanbase, it’s a movie that gets brought up all the time, the company was never able to capitalize on it as a franchise. It was more of a movie with a sequel and ‘National Treasure 3’ would have been another sequel. They never figured out a way to intergrate it into the parks. It never caught on, even though there were a lot of consumer products, it never caught on as an independent franchise. That makes the numbers look different. It makes it harder to make a company like Disney focus resources on something when they can go make ‘Toy Story’ or buy a cruise ship. And if the company itself had been really excited about moving forward with it and thought they could blow it out, we would have found a way to make the deal.

Back in 2018, Jon Turteltaub, who directed the “National Treasure” films, told Collider that Disney had a lot of other projects in the works, which is why the third film was put off.

  • “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. 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.’”

Could ‘National Treasure 3’ actually happen?

“National Treasure 3” is in the works for Disney, which I wrote about for Deseret News,

“Bad Boys for Life” writer Chris Bremner is reportedly writing the script. He will reportedly work with Bruckheimer on the project.

There have also been rumblings that “National Treasure” will get a Disney Plus show, as I wrote for Deseret.com. In fact, Bruckheimer said the series is further along in development compared to the rumored “National Treasure 3.”