Walt Disney may not have intended to make a movie franchise out of National Treasure, but one may understand the temptation to make National Treasure 3 following the success of the first two films.
The idea of a third movie is also interesting because Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) left us on a cliffhanger issue at the end of the second movie. Indeed when asked about page 47 of the book of secret in National Treasure 2, Benjamin Gates mysteriously answered that it was 'life-altering'! For the trivia: I heard that the 'life-altering' scene was some improvisation from Nicolas Cage.
But damned, such ending should be forbidden! Now we are starving for more answers because of this 'life-altering' issue. Director Jon Turteltaub responded in a press interview that the idea was not set in stone as the basis for National Treasure 3, even stating that it could actually be an introduction for National Treasure 4...
Both Director Turteltaub and Benjamin Gates both acknowledged their interest in pursuing the adventures of Benjamin Gates. Still quite long to wait before the release of National Treasure 3 though. For now the movie is only slated for a 2010 release...
It is because the script of National Treasure 3 is still under works.
But three main rumors have emerged on the Internet about National Treasure 3:
The first rumor is about Benjamin Gates going in a quest the legendary Fountain of Youth, searched for in Florida by Ponce de Leon.
But then there would be a problem with the plot Pirates of the Caribbean 4 said to be also based on the Fountain of Youth. So even if this rumor is well spread I believe it is the less likely to be true.
Another potential plot floating on the interweb is about Benjamin Gates going to Easter Island to hunt for Atlantis. The story would involve some mysterious clean energy source that would save the world from global warming.
This new plot may be a bit farfetched, it sounds as strange as the aliens in Indiana Jones 4 actually... But Nicolas Cage said that he'd like to see the movie going abroad again, like some International Treasure.
This information comes from a source who is believed to be an assistant writer of the National Treasure franchise:
The Page 47 of National Treasure 2 actually involves a quest to find the lost colony of Roanoke, North Carolina (the colony that disappeared in 1585). The lost colony is said to be the "holding place" of the grandest treasure of all (even better than the city of gold). The treasure has yet to be revealed but it is supposed to be the best of all time. Area 51 could have been involved but Disney vetoed the idea as being too sci-fi. The colony plot may still go on with some other mysterious treasure though.
I doubt that National Treasure 3 has any chance to be released sooner than 2010 (even think 2011...) because of the undergoing economic crisis. But I would be so glad if it was released earlier than expected! Impatient to see National Treasure 3.