Nicolas Cage Speaks Out About Why ‘National Treasure 3’ Never Happened

by Madison Miller

There’s no question that the “National Treasure” franchise is, well, a national treasure. To this day, the two-movie franchise is by far one of action movie star Nicolas Cage’s most popular roles. If “National Treasure 3” happened, it could have been a three-movie franchise.

Not to mention, “National Treasure” really started its own globe-trotting adventure genre that was really unlike anything else at the time. Since 2004, we’ve gotten some things that may look familiar (perhaps even the new “Uncharted” movie, for example).

All in all, you may fondly remember watching this Nicolas Cage movie back in the early 2000s. Now, we have something new for you to consider. Why didn’t that third “National Treasure” we were promised ever become a reality? Are we supposed to like solve clues and trot around the globe to get it released or is it just never going to happen?

During a recent interview with GQ, Nicolas Cage shared why he believes “National Treasure” never saw the light of day. For reference, the first movie is about Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage), a treasure hunter and cryptographer. He goes on an epic quest to find a lost treasure that has been stashed away since the American Revolutionary War. At the same time, he’s got a dangerous group of men also trying to find this same treasure.

The movie also starred Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Voight and was a success. Enough to get us another edge-of-our-seats sequel, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” in 2007. Then, we were told that “National Treasure 3” was in the works, but it got stuck in the dreaded development stage for over a decade.

Nicolas Cage and the End to ‘National Treasure’

Nicolas Cage takes personal responsibility for the movie never seeing the light of day.

At the time, Cage starred in a number of very low-earning movies like “Ghost Rider,” “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and “Drive Angry.” It’s no question that these movies were less than popular in the public eye. He cited them as the reason his phone “stopped ringing” and “National Treasure” didn’t become a reality. It doesn’t seem to bother him much. He said he enjoys making more of the indie films now, rather than those massive and expensive productions.

“I enjoy making movies like Pig and Leaving Las Vegas more than I enjoy making movies like National Treasure. When I talk about fair-weather friends in Hollywood, I’m not talking about Jerry. I’m talking about Disney. They’re like an ocean liner. Once they go in a certain direction, you’ve got to get a million tugboats to try to swivel it back around,” Cage said during the interview.

After 14 years, we’re fairly certain that it’s just not going to happen. Between the big gap in years and Nicolas Cage’s lack of interest, that’s not quite the perfect equation for a third movie. Never say never, however. Hollywood certainly has a way of bringing back movies we never thought would be a thing again.

See, for example, the fact there is a “National Treasure” Disney+ series being created starring Zuri Reed, Jordan Rodrigues, Antonio Cipriano, and Jake Austin Walker.