Why Would Anyone Reboot 'National Treasure'?
National Treasure is a movie often held up as an example of a "smart" Nic Cage vehicle, even though it's essentially The Da Vinci Code without Tom Hanks' hair. Well, not only will there be a National Treasure 3 starring Cage, but there's also gonna be a National Treasure TV series for Disney+. According to producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the series will pivot away from Cage -- it'll be the same concept, but with a younger cast. This leaves us with several questions.
The first is how much younger, exactly? The original film highlighted an obscene amount of assorted qualifications that Cage's character, Ben Gates, had, including various degrees, scuba certification, and the ability to say his dialogue without having other characters immediately punch him in the face. Cage was in his early 40s when he first took the role of Gates, so if the casting folks go too much younger than that, they're probably going to lose out on the sheer wackiness of building a character who's spent his entire adult life doing everything he can to build a resume as a "treasure hunter."
They could, on the other hand, just go clear the opposite direction and make it like a group of child brainiacs, each with a different specialized skill set, who go out treasure hunting, but this isn't The Goonies here. You then inevitably have to give them teen problems, except nobody wants to hear about what's going on with your main character's ex-boyfriend's Instagram account in the middle of a descent into an ancient temple in the Everglades.
We'd also like to take the time to point out that this feels like the opposite of what one would normally do when telling big stories like this. A good reason to do a movie is to do things that you might not otherwise be able to do in a TV show. So, working backward here (as this series will inevitably do), if your first movie centers around stealing the Declaration of Independence, what exactly is the more day-to-day grind-it-out TV show going to look like? How do you scale that back and keep the core premise?
Well, the easy answer is, you don't -- perhaps they take a more Supernatural approach and solve some small-timer hunts while simultaneously working towards a bigger payoff at the end of the season. That's not a bad approach, and it's sure worked for a number of shows over the years. The problem then becomes the sheer volume of conspiracy theories. Eventually, you're gonna run out and probably have to just invent some, and if there's one thing this world needs less of, it's conspiracy theories.
Top Image: Walt Disney Pictures