Get out of the way, Benjamin Franklin Gates. Jess Morales is here.
That’s the name of the character who’ll star in a brand new 10-episode National Treasure show that was just greenlit for Disney+. Written by Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (the same team behind the first two films) and directed by Mira Nair (Queen of Katwe), the new National Treasure “explores the timely issues of identity, community, historical authorship, and patriotism, told from the point of view of Jess Morales, a 20-year-old DREAMer who, with her diverse group of friends, sets off on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover her mysterious family history and recover lost treasure,” according to Deadline.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is also on board and it was he who talked about this project last year. “We’re certainly working on one for streaming and we’re working on one for the big screen,” Bruckheimer said about National Treasure. “Hopefully, they’ll both come together and we’ll bring you another National Treasure, but they’re both very active….The one for Disney+ is a much younger cast. It’s the same concept but a young cast. The one for theatrical would be the same cast.”
Disney has been doing a great job at taking its popular IPs and spinning them into streaming content. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series as well as the upcoming The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers are just two such examples of Disney not totally resurrecting a franchise, but using its DNA to bring in new audiences and please older fans. This new, multicultural National Treasure seems to be just that. And, according to the report, the movie is still a possibility too. So maybe Nicolas Cage’s Benjamin Franklin Gates will, in fact, get to ride once again.
No word on when the National Treasure show will debut on the streamer but either late next year or even 2023 is a safe bet. New writers are being brought on board now and you’d assume casting can’t be too far behind.