Believe it or not, the Night at the Museum franchise was a multi-billion dollar property for Fox, with the three installments in the family fantasy series raking in over $1.3 billion at the box office and generating close to $250 million from DVD sales in the United States alone, despite the fact that the entire trilogy was painfully average.
Shawn Levy has been the go-to guy for studios looking to craft formulaic and inoffensive four-quadrant PG blockbusters for a while now, and the filmmaker was certainly safely within his wheelhouse. Ben Stiller starred as a nightwatchman at the American Museum of Natural History who discovers that the exhibits come to life, and the basic premise had been stretched out pretty thin by the time Secret of the Tomb drew to a close back in 2014.
The rights are now in the hands of Disney following their takeover of Fox, and insider Daniel Richtman claims that Ben Stiller wants Adam Sandler involved in the next live-action movie. At the moment, the Mouse House have yet to confirm any plans for a fourth big screen outing, but there is an animated continuation in the works which Stiller isn’t part of.
The leading man was only involved in the first three as an onscreen talent, so it remains to be seen how much sway he held behind the scenes, but based on how quickly Disney moved forward on Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, the future of the property would appear to be animated for now.
As for Sandler, he doesn’t tend to star in projects that he’s not producing unless they’re smaller independent dramas with the notable exception of Hotel Transylvania, but Richtman says that Stiller wants the iconic actor in the next live-action Night at the Museum. We just don’t know when it’ll end up happening or what the studio has planned for it.