National Treasure Nicolas Cage might return for third film

The glasses helped the treasure hunter solve cryptic clues. Will he wear them in a third instalment of the action blockbuster?

The glasses helped the treasure hunter solve cryptic clues. Will he wear them in a third instalment of the action blockbuster? Photo: Getty

Hollywood legend Nicolas Cage just might return as treasure hunter and protector Benjamin Franklin Gates in a third National Treasure blockbuster.

It has been 15 years since the last blockbuster, and fans are itching for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent star to reprise his role as the cryptologist who achieved fame and fortune when he stole the Declaration of Independence (with a Templar treasure map on the back) in 2004’s National Treasure.

Executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer who also gave us the sequel, National Treasure: Book of Secrets in 2007, has teased that a third film starring Cage is in the works.

Will all the old support cast return, including Justin Bartha (Riley), Jon Voigt and Diana Kruger (Abigail)? Will it be about what’s on page 47 of the President’s Book of Secrets?

Will Gates need to wear the ocular device built by the founding father of the United States, Benjamin Franklin?

After Disney+ confirmed that spin-off series National Treasure: Edge of History was headed to the streamer, and wouldn’t feature Cage’s character, it felt like National Treasure 3 was buried for all time.

Then in August Bruckheimer spoke to to promote Top Gun: Maverick and confirmed an NT3 script was written and they were just waiting on Cage to approve it.

“Let’s hope we’re working on the script right now. Hopefully [Cage] likes it, but it’s really good. So I think we’ll get it to him shortly,” Bruckheimer said.

Fast-forward to this week, and Bruckheimer has opened the door slightly wider while talking up the Disney+ series to E!Online.

“We said we’d like to make another National Treasure and they said, ‘Sure, let’s come up with a new cast’,” Bruckheimer said.

“At the same time, we were developing National Treasure for the theatres with Nicolas Cage – which we still are.

“So, that’s ongoing.”

Needless to say, the two films made a fortune – a total of $806 million in box office receipts.

What’s on Page 47?

In NT2, there are references to a mysterious page 47 made by the President of the United States (played by Bruce Greenwood) to the book of secrets, the president’s diary.

We know this president had a fascination for America’s first president George Washington, and while Gates is in a tunnel with him at Mount Vernon (Washington’s home in Virginia), he urges him to let him have a look at the book.

In an earlier, set-up scene Riley explains: “It happens to be a collection of documents for presidents, by presidents and for presidents’ eyes only.

“And I’m not just talking about JFK here, guys.

“The 18 and a half missing minutes of the Watergate tapes.

“Did the Apollo really land on the Moon? Did it? Did it?

“And the coup de grâce … Area 51.”

national treasure

They gave so many storylines in NT2. Photo: AAP

So when the president is in the tunnel with Gates, the tension mounts, as Gates desperately needs to get hold of the book that will lead him “to the discovery of the greatest Native American treasure of all time”.

“A huge piece of culture lost. You can give that history back to its descendants,” he pleads, which may be a reference to the Georgia Guidestones [America’s Stonehenge].

And to end the tunnel scene?

The president says to Gates that there are 200 people who know he is holding him against his will, and he can’t tell them why.

“Unless you find what you’re looking for, you’ll be charged with kidnapping the president … I want you to do something for me.

“Page 47 … just have a look at that.”

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency rather than face impeachment over the Watergate scandal.

“While the basics of the Watergate scandal and its aftermath have been pored over in books, television, and movies, there is one detail of the scandal that remains a mystery and would be perfect Page 47 material.

“The missing 18 and a half minutes from more than 1000 hours of recorded conversations.

“This would make the conspiracy a ripe topic for Nicolas Cage’s character Ben Gates’ next National Treasure adventure.

“It would also explain why Page 47 in National Treasure 2 is specifically of interest to another president further down the line who could potentially need that information for his own purposes,” writes film industry website, Screenrant.

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