Nicolas Cage Reveals the Real Reason There's No National Treasure 3

Both National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets were moderate financial successes, leading many fans to assume a number of follow-up adventures would be developed, though star Nicolas Cage recently pointed out that the underwhelming reception to some of his other big-budget movies resulted in studio The Walt Disney Company losing interest in pursuing more films in the series. The concept hasn't entirely been abandoned, as there is a National Treasure TV series coming to Disney+, though it doesn't sound like we'll be seeing Cage reprise his role of Benjamin Franklin Gates anytime soon.

"The phone stopped ringing. It was like, 'What do you mean we're not doing National Treasure 3? It's been 14 years. Why not?'" Cage detailed to GQ. "Well, Sorcerer's Apprentice didn't work, and Ghost Rider didn't really sell tickets. And Drive Angry, that just came and went."

The actor went on to note that he wasn't entirely disappointed by the lack of updates, as independent and ambitious projects appeal more to him.

"I enjoy making movies like Pig and Leaving Las Vegas more than I enjoy making movies like National Treasure," Cage confessed. "When I talk about fair-weather friends in Hollywood, I'm not talking about [producer] Jerry [Bruckheimer]. 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."

While being part of the Disney family surely comes with opportunities, it also comes with some challenges, as Disney production executive Jason Reed previously explained that the franchise was harder to market than more well-known brands.

"I tried my damnedest to get National Treasure 3 up. I love those movies. I worked on those from inception," Reed shared with Collider previously. "What I felt happened is even though the movies were extremely successful and had a really strong fanbase, it's a movie that gets brought up all the time, the company was never able to capitalize on it as a franchise. It was more of a movie with a sequel and National Treasure 3 would have been another sequel."  

He added, "They never figured out a way to integrate it into the parks. It never caught on, even though there were a lot of consumer products, it never caught on as an independent franchise. That makes the numbers look different. It makes it harder to make a company like Disney focus resources on something when they can go make Toy Story or buy a cruise ship. And if the company itself had been really excited about moving forward with it and thought they could blow it out, we would have found a way to make the deal."

Stay tuned for updates on the future of the National Treasure franchise.

Do you wish we had gotten a third film? Let us know in the comments below!