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Nicolas Cage admits ‘National Treasure 3’ didn’t happen because the phone stopped ringing

Nicolas Cage admits that a string of box office bombs may have been the demise of 'National Treasure 3' ever happening.

Nicolas Cage as Ben Gates in National Treasure
Photo via Walt Disney Studios

Back at the beginning of 2020, the internet was sent into raptures when it was revealed that National Treasure 3 had been dusted off and thrown back into active development, with Bad Boys for Life scribe Chris Bremner tasked to write a new draft of the screenplay.

The rumor mill almost instantly sprang into life about what sort of implausible adventure Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, and Justin Bartha could find themselves getting caught up in, before the trail went positively stone cold. Not only did Kruger admit that she didn’t think National Treasure 3 was going to happen, but Cage claimed he hadn’t heard anything about it.

In an interview with GQ, though, he did at least provide a possible answer as to why. When reflecting on his descent from the top of the A-list to VOD purgatory, the Oscar-winning favorite hinted that a string of box office disappointments seemed to bring an end to any major blockbuster offers coming his way.

“The phone stopped ringing. It was like, ‘What do you mean we’re not doing National Treasure 3? It’s been 14 years. Why not?’. Well, Sorcerer’s Apprentice didn’t work, and Ghost Rider didn’t really sell tickets. And Drive Angry, that just came and went.’ ”

On the plus side, the Disney Plus sequel series is now shooting, although it remains to be seen how much of an interest people will have in National Treasure without Cage’s involvement. You never know, he might end up being invited to make a cameo appearance if the show ends up spawning multiple seasons.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.