Although fans are finally getting the chance to return to this universe after over a decade of waiting, it won’t be a fully satisfying experience because original franchise star, Nicolas Cage, is not affiliated with the new series.
It’s a fact that has only confused fans more considering that Cage has openly expressed his willingness to return and at least two of his original co-stars – Justin Bartha and Harvey Keitel – have been confirmed to be returning.
But that doesn’t mean that the wheels aren’t turning behind the scenes.
In an exclusive interview with Deadline following National Treasure’s SDCC panel, original screenwriters Cormac and Marianne Wibberley revealed that they would do anything to get Cage back. They also insisted that the sole reason he has yet to return is because of his busy schedule.
We’re gonna beg and plead,” Marianne said. “Whenever his schedule frees up,” Cormac concluded.
The two went on to explain how Cage was always the first choice to play Ben Gates in the franchise. Regarding Cage’s iconic line about stealing the Declaration of Independence, Marianne said, “You have to have someone kind of crazy, like Nic Cage, to do that part.”
Reminiscing about how integral Cage was to the success of the first two films, Corman added, “We are pulling with the fans to get him back home.”
You can see the full snippet down below.
Now, even though there have been reports about a potential third film in the works with Cage planned to return, the fact that so many old cast members are returning to the new series makes a third film feel redundant.
To be clear, there is a chance that Cage is actually in the upcoming series and that he’s just currently Hollywood’s best kept secret,, but if he’s not I hope that the Wibberley’s, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Disney do everything they can to get him involved back in the franchise. After all, he was basically my generation’s extremely eccentric Indiana Jones…
The newest installment on the franchise is centered on a young heroine, Jess (Lisette Alexis), a brilliant and resourceful DREAMer who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about her family’s mysterious past and save a lost Pan-American treasure. Jess will face off against Billie (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones), a badass billionaire, black-market antiquities expert, and treasure hunter who lives by her own code. She transformed herself from a penniless orphan to a shrewd, stylish businesswoman and adventurer. Billie’s used to getting what she wants—and she wants the Pan-American treasure. But not just for the money. This treasure has deeper stakes for her.
The series also stars Zuri Reed (Flatbush Misdemeanors) as Tasha, Jordan Rodrigues as Ethan (Lady Bird), Antonio Cipriano as Oren (“Jagged Little Pill” on Broadway”), and Jake Austin Walker (Rectify) as Liam – Jess’ friends whom she recruits to help uncover the truth about her parents and their connection to the treasure. Lyndon Smith (Parenthood) stars as FBI Agent Ross who assists in the quest. Jacob Vargas is set to play Rafael a rugged, treasure-obsessed, adventurous soul with a good sense of humor.
Jerry Bruckheimer, Cormac & Marianne Wibberley, Jonathan Littman, and KristieAnne Reed executive produce the series alongside Rick Muirragui, who also serves as a writer. Jon Turteltaub is also an executive producer. Mira Nair is directing and executive producing.
A Disney Branded Television series, National Treasure: Edge of History is produced by ABC Signature, part of Disney Television Studios.