After the first “National Treasure” was an unexpected hit in 2004 grossing $347 million worldwide, a sequel was a given. In 2007, “National Treasure : Book of Secrets” grossed even more than the original, an impressive $457 million, making it the biggest hit of star Nicolas Cage’s career and confirming Walt Disney Studios had a true franchise on its hands. Therefore, is it any surprise a third installment is in the works? Speaking at a special sneak peak of Cage’s next possible series, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed the obvious simply stating, “We are developing a script now.”
And it appears it’s on someone’s internal Walt Disney release schedule as director John Turtletaub added, “There are plans.”
The filmmaker, who also is behind “Apprentice,” wouldn’t reveal what the current storyline is, but did dispel rumors that the mythical city of Atlantis would be at the center of the new mystery. Turteltaub bluntly notes, “I should go on the internet and find the script and you get those uncsolicited emails from the 9-year-old from Kansas with Atlantis every time.”
But the filmmaker and Bruckheimer take criticisms about the historical nature of the previous two films to heart. Especially since they have taken strict measures to use as many real clues making the overall process to write a “National Treasure” movie “shockingly” difficult.
“Everyone knocked the movie because it was fake, but everything they were knocking [was] actually true,” Turteltaub says. “‘Oh, those stupid Ben Franklin glasses…’ We found those Ben Franklin glasses! He had that color thing. So, it’s just about getting the story to work.”
Why suffer through the naysayers criticisms? The answer is obvious. Turteltaub jokes, “They pay us so much money, why wouldn’t we make that movie? I’m kidding.”
In this case, not so much. Turteltaub, Bruckheimer and Cage’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” will try to generate some box office magic of its own this July.