The Disney+ National Treasure TV series from the original writers has been green-lit and will feature a new lead character named Jess Morales.
The Disney+ National Treasure TV series from the original writers has been green-lit and will feature a new lead character called Jess Morales. The series will adapt the Disney movies starring Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Gates, a treasure-hunter who gets involved in several shenanigans involving priceless artifacts related to US history. The first National Treasure was released in 2004, and a sequel, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, followed in 2007. Despite plans for another movie, National Treasure 3 never got made, reportedly due to the filmmakers struggling to turn the property into a fully-fledged franchise.
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However, with the advent of Disney+, the possibility of a spinoff was soon floated, as the media giant has been dipping into its reserve of franchise properties for series like The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers and others. Indeed, a National Treasure TV show was confirmed to be in development at Disney+ in mid-2020, with original producer Jerry Bruckheimer teasing it would follow an entirely new, younger group of treasure-hunters.
Deadline reports that the National Treasure Disney+ series has been green-lit. Bruckheimer will produce while original writers Marianne and Cormac Wibberley will once again tackle the script, and veteran director Mira Nair (Queen of Katwe) will helm the series. Also, the report reveals the show will feature an entirely new lead, Jess Morales, a DREAMer who explores her mysterious family history while hunting down treasure connected to her past along with a diverse group of friends. There is no mention of a cast yet, making it likely the show is still searching for its lead.
The most interesting aspect is probably the fact the lead will be a young Latina who is specifically a DREAMer (a so-called unauthorized immigrant to the USA who entered as a minor and can gain residency now that they’re over 16). It hints that the show won’t shy away from America’s immigrant history and the thorny issue of who ancient artifacts really belong to. Hopefully, this sociopolitical aspect will be explored with tact and not glossed over in favor of silly humor.
Another assumption to draw from this news is that the series will be a hard reboot/spinoff and won’t feature any of the original movie’s trio of characters, which included Cage’s Gates, as well as Justin Bartha’s Riley Poole and Diane Kruger’s Abigail Chase. That’s not to say there’s no way for the characters to return. Any one of them, or all of them, could well be added to the National Treasure series as mentor figures, which would be a good way to connect the movies to the series, and there’s no doubt Cage’s presence would add a nice cheesy element to the show.
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