Nicolas Cage and Jon Turteltaub’s National Treasure movies come about as close to the platonic ideal of good dopey cinema as it’s possible to get, existing as they do in a world in which a man—two-fisted antiquities expert Ben Franklin Gates!—can first declare his intentions to steal the Declaration Of Independence, and then go ahead and follow through on that intent. And yet somehow, it’s been 13 years since we last got a movie about Nicolas Cage frowning at books before trying to steal the President’s desk, a gap that Turteltaub explained in interviews in recent years with a pretty straightforward, “They didn’t make enough money.” (Although both films roughly tripled their budgets at the box office, this is Disney we’re talking about here.)
Now, though, it’s starting to sound like Jerry Bruckheimer—whose studio produced both National Treasure and its 2007 follow-up, Book Of Secrets—may be getting back into the map findin’ behindin’ business at last. THR reports today that writer Chris Bremner—fresh off his first major scripting gig, Bad Boys For Life—has been tasked to write a possible script for NT3. (He’s also apparently on the hook for a fourth Bad Boys movie, because that “For Life” stuff wasn’t fucking around.) All of this is still a little nebulous—just because Bruckheimer has possibly okay-ed someone working on a script doesn’t mean Disney’s necessarily going to bite—but, then, what is the National Treasure franchise all about, except making giant, possibly idiotic leaps of faith on the basis of the scantest historical evidence?
Anyway, the internet is already abuzz with questions about what Nicolas Cage might steal next. Will he find clues to an ancient conspiracy etched into the bowl of LBJ’s favorite toilet? Solve the murders of William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor, thus clearing the good names of pneumonia, cherries, and fresh milk? Or will he get back to his roots, and simply pilfer the Magna Carta—thus destroying the legal basis for so much of Western law? (We like this last one mostly because it’ll force a bunch of people to make the same Google search we just did to find out what, exactly, the Magna Carta is.) Come back, Nic—your country needs you (to steal its most priceless and poorly guarded shit).