SALT LAKE CITY — Don’t expect “National Treasure 3” anytime soon. Disney might be a little too busy.
Jon Turteltaub, who directed the “National Treasure” films, told Collider during a recent interview promoting his upcoming shark movie “The Meg,” that Disney has too many movies in the pipeline, delaying a possible third “National Treasure” film.
“When 'National Treasure' first got made, there was a lot more money to go around. Everybody got paid nicely,” he said. “The problem with getting the third one made isn’t the people who are getting paid saying, ‘I’m not doing it unless you pay me a lot!’ It’s really that Disney feels they have other films they want to make that they think will make them more money. I think they’re wrong. I think they’re right about the movies they’re making; they’re obviously doing a really good job at making great films. I just think this would be one of them, and they don’t quite realize how much the internet is begging for a third ‘National Treasure.’”
He said the third movie’s script was nearly complete but Disney never signed off on it.
“The script was close, but not so great that the studio couldn’t say yes,” he said, adding that it was “good enough” for the studio to approve it. Still, they were never given the green light.
The first “National Treasure” film dropped in 2004, earning $347 million around the world. The sequel, released in 2007, earned over $457 million.
“Those certainly aren't the box office numbers of a franchise that's cooling down," according to Cinemablend.
Rumors of a third film have existed since the end of the second movie. In fact, Disney CEO Bob Iger hinted at a third film two years ago.9 comments on this story
“We have done two, and yes they were really fine movies,” he said, according to CinemaBlend’s report from 2016. “I know Jerry Bruckheimer who produced them has had conversations with our studio a number of times about it, and there have been some developments along the way, but as of right now we have not green-lit, as we say, a ‘National Treasure 3.’ But I do know there is time and some resources spent on development. That's all I can tell ya.”
“National Treasure” existed before Disney owned the rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm, which have driven the company’s major franchise over the last few years.