Time to go back on the treasure hunt. National Treasure: Edge of History, a television series based on the Nicolas Cage film franchise, is set for Disney+.
The epic story of action, adventure, and history that is National Treasure is back, with a new story and a new treasure hunting puzzle to solve. Rather than releasing the third movie, the National Treasure crew is switching things up with a ten-episode series in which the audience discovers clues and attempts to figure out the puzzle along with the characters on screen. National Treasure: Edge of History will be a new take on the action-packed story, diving deep into pieces of pan-American history that the Gates team has never examined.
The iconic film franchise is now returning for a new audience, complete with new characters and storylines. Let’s look at everything we know about the National Treasure: Edge of History. What can we expect from the storyline, and how will it continue the plot of the films? Who are the new cast members joining the franchise, and is star Nicolas Cage back? When can we expect the series to release on Disney+?
Seventeen years ago, National Treasure became a global phenomenon. Viewers around the world watched as Nicholas Cage’s Benjamin Franklin Gates solved clue after clue to locate a hidden national treasure. In 2007, the adventure saga continued with the sequel film National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and now it’s beginning another adventure in a new medium with a TV series on Disney+, premiering just in time for Christmas.
The Disney+ National Treasure series follows a new group of young treasure hunters, diving into American history from a very modern perspective. Mira Nair will direct the project, and Jon Turteltaub, the director of the two original movies, returns to executive produce. They will be joined by Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, who co-wrote the screenplays of the National Treasure films.
In September, the cast hit up D23 Expo in Anaheim with a release date and full trailer for the new series, along with a few exciting details about the journey that awaits.
National Treasure: Edge of History: Trailer
Will Nicolas Cage Be Reprising His Role?
Nicolas Cage took on the starring role of Benjamin Gates in the two National Treasure films. The Face Off actor portrayed the history buff who risked everything to clear his family’s name and discover the Nation’s lost treasure. In the films he was seen rambling away about ciphers and hidden messages in political documents, stealing the Declaration of Independence, and committing a litany of felonies before finally putting all the clues together in the nick of time. Fifteen years later the National Treasure story continues, but without its lead character. Cage, who recently starred as himself in the action comedy film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, is staying very busy though, with four projects currently in post-production, including Renfield, a horror comedy in which Cage takes on the role of Dracula.
While Cage is not back, the series will feature a younger cast.
The Cast of National Treasure: Edge of History
Without Cage starring, the National Treasure Franchise has taken on a fresh story, with a new lead. Lisette Alexis takes on the role of Jess Morales/Valenzuela, a 22-year-old who embarks on a cross-country journey to learn more about her family. The only way she can crack the riddle of her past is to find the missing treasure that her father told her about years previously. Luckily her friends are there to help, piling into a van for the road trip of a lifetime. Together they head off in search of the clues needed to solve the mystery, hopefully before her wealthy rival, Billie Pearce.
Catherine Zeta-Jones will be portraying black market antiquity dealer Billie Pearce. Similar to Ian Howe in the first National Treasure film, she attempts to work alongside Jess before stealing her clues and racing against her to solve the mystery first.
In addition, Lyndon Smith will be playing FBI Agent Ross and Zuri Reed will be playing Jess’ best friend Tasha. Jordan Rodrigues joins the cast as Ethan, another one of Jess’ best friends, and Antonio Cipriano will star as Oren. Jake Austin Walker is set to play Liam, a musician who comes from a family of treasure hunters.
It was announced during San Diego Comic-Con 2022 that Harvey Keitel will join the series, reprising his role of Peter Sandusky from the films. Earlier this year, Disney+ announced that Justin Bartha is set to return as Riley Poole, Ben’s best friend.
National Treasure: Edge of History: The Plot
The National Treasure: Edge of History series will pay homage to its predecessors, continuing the treasure hunting story, filled with relics, maps, and lost history. But with a new story comes a new mystery that has never been explored by the Gates team before.
However, Not much is known about the plot of the series at this point. Reportedly, producer Jerry Bruckheimer wants the series to follow a similar concept as the films with a new, younger cast. It’s important to note that the series is separate from the third film in development, which would likely feature the same cast members as the previous films.
Jess Valenzuela and Billie Pearce are both on the hunt for three mysterious boxes. These boxes hold clues that must be solved in order to find the hidden treasure that Jess’ dad had told her about years before. Jess believes that if she can solve the puzzle, then she can learn more about her family and their past, not to mention a trove of gold.
The young explorer is in possession of a strange cube with multiple rotating circles on its surface, emblazoned with symbols that include a Mayan numeral system that counts up to thirteen. Based on the behind-the-scenes shots released so far, it appears that the series will pull inspiration from the Mexican-American war, although a painting is shown depicting Spanish conquistadors charging their boats at what appears to be a Mayan temple. The National Treasure franchise has previously touched on South American history and lore in the second film. Audiences are hoping that this series holds a tad more true to real-life history, and doesn’t try to convince them that any more South American ruins are hidden in the Midwest.
National Treasure: Edge of History: Release date
National Treasure: Edge of History is scheduled to be released on December 14, 2022, on Disney+, with its first two episodes available immediately.