It goes to show that even the Mouse House isn’t going to toss money in all directions as often as people think since the idea of making a National Treasure 3 isn’t completely dead, but it’s currently hanging out in that area known as limbo since it sounds as though too many flops have kind of soured Disney execs to the idea of simply going full-speed ahead with every project that comes across their desk. Taking into account the fact that the first and second movies did pretty well in the box office it’s hard to see why the Mouse House didn’t think that going forward with another story would be a good idea. But then, trying to figure out just why Disney does the things they do has a lot to do with the money and what they believe they can risk and what they won’t. At some point it doesn’t really matter how much people complain or how many petitions might be sent their way, Disney is going to do what they want when it comes to their movies and the third installment of this idea just doesn’t appear to be a big priority. Whether Disney will ever bring the movie back or not is hard to say, but at the moment it does sound as though the idea that Jerry Bruckheimer started fouling up with some of the ideas that followed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Black Pearl, had something to do with this decision.
Disney has had some massive hits over the past two decades when it comes to live-action movies, but there have also been a few incredible flops that haven’t so much tarnished their reputation as they’ve managed to remind people that Disney isn’t infallible and can in fact put out horrible movies that aren’t worth watching. Their track record isn’t so horrible that they’ve been on the decline, but apparently, enough poor returns have made it possible for the execs to refuse certain movie ideas since they might not have been on the docket to begin with or are seen as unnecessary risks that Disney doesn’t want to take. In some cases, this is a bit saddening since there have reportedly been some ideas that would be worth pursuing and some that might have turned into a great franchise if they’d been allowed to do so. But with the final word being that some movie simply isn’t going to happen for one reason or another, Disney earns at least little enmity from some folks since the stories they want to see are often replaced with stories that they didn’t expect, even if the latter is eventually accepted by just about everyone since they turn out to be pretty good, or at least manageable since they were given a great cast or director.
With National Treasure, the question however is this: where in the world and what would Benjamin Gates be going after next? The first two movies had people really wondering if the founding fathers had been up to a few shenanigans trying to bury a fabled treasure that had been on US soil since before it was the country we recognize it as now, while the second one had people believing there was a city of gold buried beneath Mt. Rushmore. Where would Gates be going for a third movie? Would it be like Indiana Jones, stepping from one genre into another? It’s hard to say really since the move from the supernatural to the science fiction world didn’t do wonders for Dr. Jones, but it feels as though getting supernatural with National Treasure would be a very bad idea since it would kind of kill the whole practical mystique that’s been built into each movie. But thinking of what the story would revolve around isn’t too hard really, since there are plenty of mysteries throughout the world that could remain within a realistic storyline and could possibly cater to something having to do with the USA. It’d be a challenge for any writer to work with no doubt, but it would also be a challenge that many would likely meet with a huge smile on their faces since the success of the first two movies would be something that many writers would want to get credit for replicating.
But at this point, it almost feels as though time has passed the movie by and that it should be left with just two movies to its credit. Some might want to argue against this, saying that there’s no need to just let it sit without being given the proper treatment of a trilogy. Some might even want to claim that it could make a series that would work on many levels, but the truth of National Treasure is that despite the success of the second movie, it was already starting to show that it wasn’t really living up to its potential.