Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

National Treasure 3 & 4 ?! Big Thunder Mountain ... The Movie ?!

Jim Hill

Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

National Treasure 3 & 4 ?! Big Thunder Mountain ... The Movie ?!

Rate This
  • Comments 24

Marvin T. writes in ask about "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."

What do you make of the last scene of "Book of Secrets" ? The one where the President of the United States asks Benjamin Gates about what he thought about Page 47 in the President's book. And the historian / treasurer hunter replies that "It's life-altering."

The President of the United States (Bruce Greenwood) and Benjamin Gates (Nicolas
Cage) confer in Walt Disney Pictures' "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."
Photo by Robert Zuckerman. Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
and Jerry Bruckheimer, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

Was that what I think it was ? The set-up for "National Treasure 3" ?

Oh, yeah. You can count on there being at least two more installments of the "National Treasure" series, Marvin.

How can I be so sure? Check out the domain names that the Walt Disney Company registered just yesterday:


 Copyright 2007 Disney Press. All Rights Reserved

Given that "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" has already earned over $206 million during its initial domestic run (Which puts it well ahead of what the first "National Treasure" pulled in when that John Turteltaub film played in U.S. theaters back in 2004), both Jerry Bruckheimer and the folks at Disney are anxious to send the Gates family off on yet another adventure.

But until "National Treasure 3" turns up at your local multiplex (Which should be sometime just around Christmas in 2010), Bruckheimer & Disney will be exploring other ways to keep these characters (More importantly, the "National Treasure" franchise) fresh in movie-goers' minds. One idea that's being tried out right now is using Disney Press to launch a series of "National Treasure" -themed children's books. The first of these Gates Family Mysteries ...

Copyright 2007 Disney Press. All Rights Reserved

... Catherine Hapka's "Changing Tides" arrived on store shelves in November. The second book in this series -- "Midnight Ride," also written by Ms. Hapka -- is due to be published next month.

Copyright 2008 Disney Press. All Rights Reserved

There's even been some rumblings of Walt Disney Imagineering developing a "National Treasure" -themed attraction. But -- to be honest -- I think that's being done mostly to placate Nicholas Cage. Who -- when he was doing publicity for "Book of Secrets" back in December -- was actually quoted as saying that:

"My biggest thrill would be if Disney was so happy with the movie that they gave it a ride ... I love amusement parks and I love Disneyland and I would love to see a National Treasure ride. That would be a dream come true for me."

But before anything like that can happen, Disney & Bruckheimer first have to contend with "National Treasure 3." As in: Coming up with a storyline that would send the Gates family off in search of some artifact that could possibly have "life-altering" consequences.

If you were to do any poking around the Web, you'd find that the "National Treasure" fan community has already decided what Benjamin Gates should be searching for next. And that's the Fountain of Youth.

There's only one slight problem with that scenario. Do you remember the end of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" ?

 Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Productions. All Rights Reserved

Where Captain Jack Sparrow was using that chunk of chart that he'd swiped from Barbossa so that he could then follow the course that Ponce de León took back in 1513 ...

Copyright 2007
Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Productions. All Rights Reserved

Back when this Spanish explorer had gone in search of Aqua de Vita ...

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Productions. All Rights Reserved

... AKA the water of life which flows from the Fountain of Youth.

Now given that Bruckheimer & Disney do eventually hope to put a "Pirates 4" into production (A film that -- I hear -- would toss the Elizabeth & Will characters over the side in favor of doing a bawdy buddy picture which would star Jack Sparrow & Barbossa. Where both captains of the Black Pearl would initially be competing for the exact same prize. But eventually all the double crossing would have to stop as these two rivals were then forced to join forces in order to defeat some supernatural terror), I'd say that it's highly doubtful that Jerry & Mickey would cannibalize the setting of the next "Pirates of the Caribbean" picture just so Benjamin Gates could then go off in search of the Fountain of Youth in "National Treasure 3."

Though, that said, I do want to share one gag that a friend in the Frank Wells building recently told me. Where he envisioned Disney & Bruckheimer actually mashing together its two top-grossing franchises:

"Wouldn't it be funny if -- when Benjamin Gates arrived at the Fountain of Youth -- he then found Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbossa ? It could be the Disney version of "Alien vs. Predator."

Which is admittedly an interesting idea. But not one I see Jerry and/or Mickey pursuing. Not now, anyway.

As to the proposed storyline for "National Treasure 3" ... Though Bruckheimer -- in an interview that he did with Collider back in December -- claimed not to know anything about the plot of the proposed sequel, saying ...

“The writers might know, but I don’t know. And they’re not going to tell me now because they’re on strike.”

Inside the Frank Wells building, there's already a brief plot description making the rounds. Which would supposedly send the Gates family off to Easter Island and beyond in search of Atlantis. More importantly, the pure, clean power source that was supposedly lost forever when this ancient civilization sank beneath the sea. Which -- were it to be harnessed today -- would immediately put an end to global warming. Not to mention making gas & oil obsolete.

Which should thrill Nicholas Cage. Since he said -- as Cage was doing promotion for "Book of Secrets" back in December -- that:

"I was very happy to see that we went to London, England and Paris, France. But I’d like to see us go wider still (in any follow-up films. Benjamin Gates) could go to Africa, Egypt, Asia and keep going."

Please keep in mind, though, that nothing's carved in stone just yet. Given the way things work in Hollywood these days, that proposed storyline is bound to change once the writer's strike has been resolved and official development can finally begin on the "National Treasure 3" screenplay.

And who knows? Maybe Mickey & Jerry will then decide to do something truly off the wall. Like sending Benjamin Gates out to the American Southwest in search of a certain mountain. Which is said to contain a huge albeit cursed amount of gold.

 Copyright 2006 Disney. All Rights Reserved

Which I know sounds totally ridiculous. Except that -- late last week -- the Walt Disney Company also registered these four domain names:


And from what I understand, this is not a case of the Mouse simply doing some place holding. But -- rather -- that these domain names were registered because Walt Disney Pictures actually has a "Big Thunder Mountain" movie in development. More importantly, that folks at the studio are trying to convince Bruckheimer to produce the thing.

Now what this proposed big screen version of "Big Thunder Mountain" might do to that "Jungle Cruise" movie that Disney already has in development (Or -- for that matter -- whether this western-themed production might then have some impact on that big budget "Lone Ranger" remake / revival that Jerry's been trying to get Disney to greenlight for a while now) ... Who can say?

All I know is that we've got a lot of new "National Treasure" -related stuff headed our way over the next five years. So I hope you folks really like Nicholas Cage. Because you're going to be seeing a lot of him (or should I say his Benjamin Gates character?) now through 2013.

Your thoughts?

Blog - Post Feedback Form
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Post
  • PingBack from http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/02/01/disney-plans-for-national-treasure-3-4/

  • I definatly came up with the idea of a Big Thunder novie long ago, so I guess it was a good idea ;) My hope is it's a historical western a la Pirates and not a modern-day-set flick a la Haunted Mansion and Country Bears.

  • Looking back....haunted mansion could have been the BEST ride to movie.  Was that Eisner greenlighting?  I am sure he reminded everyone in the room that he created Raiders of the Lost Ark...again.............20 years earlier.

    One question:  Why don't the parks do anything for the show "LOST"?

  • Why start a new franchise when you can just plus one?  As in, "The Lone Ranger: Showdown at Big Thunder Mountain".  This way it would be easy to incorporate LR into the parks, as well as provide some theming for the movie.  Like say a meeting with Prof. Cumulus Isobar the rainmaker.

  • Let's just put it all to rest and say that the backstory of Big Thunder Mountain has already been written!  The movieis quite simple, really, this amazing engineering genius, let's call him Jason Chandler, has to use his amazing tunneling machine to rescue trapped miners lost inside the Big Thunder Mountain caverns.  In the process of doing  so, he discovers a vein of gold so enormous that the existence of it would destroy the world's economy.  so, Jason, being the wise person he is, takes what he neerds to fund his own research and discovery projects and leaves the intense Mother Lode hidden from the world....hethen builda a remarkabe research center along California's rugged northern coast line, and, in the 2nd film of the series, goes off and finds Captain Nemo's abandoned NAUTILUS.....

    Get it together, Disney...you've already got the story in place...just let it roll!

  • sorry about the letters clumping - my keyboard is sticking and I gotta go buy a new one...Jim, feel free to fix the spacing and stuff up, if you can..

  • NAT'L TREASURE 3 - nobrainer.  NAT'L TREASURE 2 was almost a segue movie in a trilogy...it didn't really fill a full story arc.  And. let's face it. the lack of a real antagonist in the story (The guy who is doing something to "better his family name", too - left something hanging that was out of place for me...) and, if you really know the backstory of the KGC (Knights Golden Circle) - the secret society of the Confederate Nation, then, you really have the foundation for an amazing continuation of this organization still bent on destroying the United States and reforming the Confederate Nation to dominate the world and all sorts of other nasty stuff...

    If you want a good read on this, the book that helped to guide the KGC story in NAT'L TREASURE 2 is still available - REBEL GOLD by Warren Getler and Bob Brewer....the book not only goes into many modern treasure hunts that call for the abilties that Cage shows in his character in the N.T. series, but, tells the deep story of the KGC, it's more famous agents (including Jesse James), how caches of Confederate gold were buried across the south-east and the southwest, how some of these caches may still be guarded today, and, how this secret society may still be in existence....

    I personally think that the story arc started in NT 2 isn't over, and, that our brief touch of introduction to the KGC in the 2nd film is only an introduction to this dastardly organization that still has the large caches of gold waiting to be dug up and used for world domination....

    I highly recommend getting a copy of REBEL GOLD and reading it...I couldn't put the thing down when I saw where things could lead to....

  • National Treasure 3: House of Plastic. Ben Frank Gates and his ever-growing family have to brave an Anaheim landfill in search of the Mosanto House of the Future ruins in order to prove his grandfather wasn't a McCarthy informant or the Second Gunman.

  • Doesn't this turn it into International Treasure?

  • To Ilsoap:

    No, because the true treasure would still be back in the states, with big clues being placed around the globe, as you saw a but if in NT2.

    Anyway, I'm glad to have you back and reporting on Disney, Jim. Two thumbs up for this article.

  • i would not mind more movies on national treasure.  They remind me of the times when movies where fun.   Nothing to take to serious but still enjoyable.

    As for an attraction,  i see this as an oppurtunity to add a new land for Hong Kong Disneyland without duplicating and/or promoting the Indiana Jones franchise for another studio.

  • Funny... as I was reading this I thought to myself that Disney would try to link Pirates and National Treasure with the whole "Fountain of Youth" thing.  It just seems like something they would try.

    Another tactic of the Disney Movie Machine lately has been to completely fill the movie with cameo's and hidden "stuff" that disneyana fans go nuts over.  Too bad that didn't work for Enchanted.  That movie didn't do nearly as well as I had hoped... just imagine what Disney's thinking.

  • I saw NT2 tonight, and really enjoyed it. Not that they're "great" movies, but they are really fun movies. I wouldn't mind seeing more.

  • Skipperwest, I think I did a Light Magic on that one...can't find the promised Chandler article; maybe I never sent it in...I know I used it for my MTM class (coming soon to JHM)...I'll keep poking around.

  • Aha!  Jeff Pepper has it, from Disney News:


Page 1 of 2 (24 items) 12