In the 2000s, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer produced a film franchise that could best be described as “’Indiana Jones’ as a big family adventure.” This was “National Treasure,” the first movie premiering in 2004 and its sequel in 2007. Nicholas Cage starred as cryptologist-treasure hunter Ben Franklin Gates. With his team of history specialists and family members he found the treasure hidden on American shores by the Templars/Freemasons, and the golden city of Cibola, while being forced to extremes like stealing the Declaration of Independence and (briefly) kidnapping the US President. A spinoff book series was also launched even as development of Part 3 dragged on for years.
“National Treasure 3” might still be some time off, but franchise co-creator Jerry Bruckheimer has been teasing a TV series to stream on Disney+ since last year. Variety reports that Disney+ has given the OK for a “National Treasure” series, consisting of 10 episodes. Bruckheimer (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) returns as executive producer while husband-and-wife team Cormac and Marianne Wibberly will write the story under the direction of Mira Nair (1996’s “Kama Sutra”). The series will be a reimagining, and thus swaps out the original film series’ Gates family for a new, different main character.
Scant initial info on the planned “National Treasure” series puts the focus on Jess Morales, described as an undocumented 20-year-old Latina in the DREAMer movement. Despite her tenuous status residing in the US, she stumbles on clues to both an incredible hidden treasure as well as an in-depth look at her family history and its ties to America. Where the movies’ Gates family are ‘traditional” American heroes, having Jess as a protagonist who technically is not yet American is a stark contrast, as invoked by Nair, who wants the series to explore issues of “identity, community, patriotism and historical authorship.”
No casting news has been given for Jess or any other characters for the “National Treasure” series on Disney+, and there is no word on a possible streaming release window either. It is the same as word on the “National Treasure 3” movie, which remains in the writing table although Jerry Bruckheimer hopes to reunite Nicholas Cage and the cast.
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