A Disney+ series spin-off of the National Treasure franchise is in development, and here's what the show’s treasure might be. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has confirmed the new National Treasure series is happening, with a pilot script complete and an outline for the following few episodes - and that there may be crossover between the main cast of the TV show and the third film of the National Treasure franchise. A script for National Treasure 3 is in the works too, with Bad Boys For Life writer Chris Bremner at the helm.
The first two action-adventure movies in the National Treasure franchise released in 2004 and 2007, finding success with both audiences and the box office. Following historian and treasure hunter Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage), the films gave audiences a wild ride full of adventure and history as they sought to uncover the great mysteries and secrets of lost American treasures. With these two projects in the works, National Treasure is not dead yet.
The Disney+ series is set to star a much younger group of treasure hunters. It is unclear, however, if this will be a totally different set of characters, or if it will follow the life of a young Ben Gates. As there are plans for crossover with National Treasure 3, it is more plausible that the new young cast of ambitious explorers would seek out help from the original crew with whatever mystery they are set to solve. The series, which is set to follow the same concept, could contain any number of treasures for a new generation to become enthralled with the National Treasure franchise. Here are some theories as to what the new Disney+ show’s treasure could be.
One idea for the new series is the connection between the United States and France. In 1803, the United States purchased land from France with the Louisiana Purchase. Shortly after, the Lewis and Clark expedition took off to explore the newly owned area. After their return, Lewis, who became Governor of Upper Louisiana, was found dead, and a 200-year old mystery still exists as to whether he took his own life or if someone else had a more sinister motive. Perhaps Lewis and Clark found something more on their adventure west, a treasure hidden within the Louisiana Purchase. It feels like the Uncharted games, searching for treasure in unknown land. Similar to that of National Treasure, the new explorers could steal the Louisiana Purchase Treaty and decipher a clue left within. To solve this mystery could unlock the key to a lost treasure buried deep within the Midwest of the United States, while offering the answer to the mystery surrounding Lewis’ death.
Building on that, then The Statue of Liberty would be another great monument to explore, and the National Treasure franchise has used Lady Liberty before. Given to the United States in 1886 by the French, the statue has become a staple in American monuments. Little is known of a secret room that lies in the torch of the statue, however. This could play into page 47 of the President's book of secrets from National Treasure 2, in that whatever is on the page could be a way to decipher a potential treasure left behind by the fearless French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. In the second National Treasure, Ben Gates explores the statue, and her sister statue in Paris, so a connection already exists within the National Treasure fold. Combining past knowledge of the famous monument with a clue in the Louisiana Purchase would be an excellent way for writers to cross the original cast with the new young explorers for this series.
The Liberty Bell is another iconic artifact in American history, pre-dating the Revolutionary War to mark the anniversary of William Penn and his 1701 Charter of Privileges. Its signature crack remains a mystery and provides the perfect historical landmark for clues in the new Disney+ series. Written on the Bell is a bible verse, as well as information about the Pennsylvania Assembly. The Assembly was known for corruption, and the Liberty Bell could offer a way to explore a shady past within Philadelphia’s history.
What the National Treasure franchise is known for is its ability to decipher hidden meaning within documents, but this could very well be the case with the verse written on the Liberty Bell. Turning that into a riddle would fit the series’ mold and would provide crossover with the main cast, who explored the Revolutionary era in American history in the first National Treasure, allowing another instance of potential mentorship to form. The Liberty Bell is a classic example for an artifact in the National Treasure series given its status as an iconic American symbol shrouded in mystery.
Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight to put humans on the moon. The module, named “Columbia”, served as the living quarters for the crew consisting of Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Conspiratorial speculation surrounds the first moon landing, for some point to it being faked via photographic evidence, or lack thereof. Part of this is because NASA had reportedly lost footage of the first moonwalk. This would bring a more modern take on American history, and although a “treasure” may not be the focus of something like this, the mystery surrounding the Apollo 11 mission would bring a contemporary topic to the new series.
National Treasure covered events in the 18th century and National Treasure: Book of Secrets focused on the 19th century, so an event that focuses on the 20th century would be a creative way to bring a new generation into the National Treasure family. Through this, NASA as a whole entity could be explored and ideas surrounding Operation Paperclip, Nazi scientists, and space could bring a more modern perspective to the franchise and open the door for a space-themed adventure surrounding conspiracies and lost evidence. Something like this would be harder to pull off, as opposed to a more treasure-centered mystery, but the Apollo 11 Command Module would make for more of an exciting spy-type plot. Putting these young explorers out of their natural elements as simply treasure hunters and into roles more focused around espionage would be an interesting progression in the National Treasure narrative, while keeping the same concept of solving an American mystery.
The Ozarks have gained a lot of attention with the dark Netflix series Ozark. But along the Missouri-Arkansas Line, lies a tale of Spanish treasure, abandoned by conquistadors some hundreds of years ago. The legend involves Spanish Conquistadors who hid their stolen Aztec and Mayan treasure in the Ozark caverns as a brutal winter storm crept in. Their hopes of returning with reinforcements were stunted when Native Americans began hunting them down after their villages were destroyed. For years the treasure has eluded hunters.
A whole story could unfold for the National Treasure series, as this involves Spanish conquerors, Native American land, and stolen loot from ancient Mexican civilizations. There have been maps discovered in old Bibles and a carved outline in a limestone rock left by the only known survivor of the Conquistador clan, so solid evidence exists for these young hunters to begin the investigation. Bible verses provide great significance in film, and similar to the Liberty Bell riddle, it could serve a more complex purpose than simply finding a map. This could be a perfect treasure for the new Disney+ National Treasure series to explore given its status as a cultural crockpot. With so many diverse elements at play, the new series could not only work to decipher these maps but also dive deep into the mysterious caves to explore European expansionism and ancient treasure.
A real-life treasure quest is hidden somewhere in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. After stumbling upon a gold and silver mine while hunting buffalo, Thomas Beale and around 30 other men began mining and stockpiling precious metals over the span of a year and a half. Beale was tasked with securing the loot and in doing so, he created three ciphers: the location, the treasure’s description, and the names of its owners. He then delivered each cipher to a Virginia innkeeper with instructions that if Beale did not return in 10 years, a key would arrive to open the ciphers. Neither Beale or the key ever appeared.
This is exactly what a National Treasure series needs. Ciphers, mystery, and $63 million in treasure. With doubt and skepticism about whether the other ciphers are even real, this series could blow the case wide open with a whole new adventure and be one of the best treasure hunting stories people would see. In fact, the second cipher describing the treasure and the amount can be cracked by using any copy of the Declaration of Independence. These young explorers could use Ben and his team as a resource, since they already stole the Declaration of Independence once before, thus providing the perfect crossover for the Disney+ series and National Treasure 3. With so many players involved, a lot of money on the line, and a seemingly impossible puzzle to crack, the Thomas Beale Cipher provides perhaps the best possible storyline for a National Treasure series.
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