Both installments of the National Treasure franchise were big hits for Disney; National Treasure grossed over $173 million at the domestic box office while its sequel, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, went on to take $220 million. Both films starred Nicholas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, a historian and cryptologist searching for lost treasure. The movies were directed by Jon Turtteltaub and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
Book of Secrets was released in 2007 and, following on from the success of the franchise, talk of a third National Treasure movie quickly surfaced. However, nothing of any note seems to have happened with it - the most recent talk about it last came in April 2014, when Bruckheimer said that the first act for the movie's script had been completed, and he was hoping things would move forward from there.
ComicBook is reporting that Disney chairman Bob Iger offered an update on the potential third National Treasure movie during the latest Disney shareholders meeting, saying that while National Treasure 3 is still in some kind of development, nothing has been green-lit yet. Here is the direct quote from Iger:
"We have done two, and yes they were really fine movies. I know Jerry Bruckheimer who produced them has had conversations with our studio a number of times about it, and there have been some developments along the way, but as of right now we have not green-lit as we say, a National Treasure 3. But I do know there is time and some resources spent on development. That's all I can tell ya."
While Iger (and Bruckheimer) might not have shelved the project altogether, it certainly seems that any hope of a third National Treasure movie is distant at best, and certainly still a very long way off. Bruckheimer is busy with producing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is currently in post-production ahead of its May 2017 release date, and it appears that both Bad Boys 3 and Top Gun 2 are currently bigger priorities for Bruckheimer than another National Treasure film. Meanwhile, Turteltaub is attached to direct and produce a movie based on Disney's It's a Small World theme park ride, and Deadline is also reporting that he's circling a Warner Bros. adaptation of Meg; about an attempt to kill a deadly shark taking out swimmers along the east coast of China.
Of course, Cage also continues with his career too, with five films lined up for release this year, and three already slated for 2017 - so if any advancements were to be made with National Treasure 3 and Disney wants Cage to star, the studio will also be waiting on his schedule, too. So for now, we wait, and it seems as though we might well be waiting for quite some time.
We will keep you updated with any additional news of National Treasure 3 as it develops.