Disney is reviving its action-packed National Treasure franchise with a new series streaming on Disney Plus from next week, focusing on a new generation of adventurers – but fans are likely most interested in the fate of one iconic character.
Nicolas Cage played Benjamin Franklin Gates in 2004's National Treasure and its sequel Book of Secrets. The lead protagonist of both films, he is fondly remembered for his iconic line about stealing the Declaration of Independence (and other feats).
When National Treasure: Edge of History was announced for Disney Plus with a new cast led by relative unknown Lisette Olivera, fans were eager to find out if the original star would be returning in any capacity.
In response, showrunners Cormac and Marianne Wibberley – who also wrote the first two National Treasure films – have detailed exactly what we can expect to see.
Does Nicolas Cage appear in National Treasure: Edge of History?
The short answer: no. But fans shouldn't be dismayed, as the Wibberleys have expressed great enthusiasm for bringing Cage back in a potential second season of Edge of History.
The actor has bounced back from a slight career downturn and is once again a hot commodity, following acclaimed performances in Mandy, Into the Spider-Verse, Pig, and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.
However, this packed schedule meant that Cage couldn't reprise his National Treasure role even for a cameo in Edge of History, as revealed at the show's SDCC panel (via Screen Rant).
Since then, Cormac Wibberley has revealed to Entertainment Weekly an idea gestating for Benjamin Gates's return in a proposed National Treasure: Edge of History season 2.
He explained that Gates would meet new protagonist Jess Valenzuela and the pair would develop a dynamic similar to how a young Peter Parker viewed Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War and beyond.
"That's basically how we saw the relationship if Ben Gates ever showed up," said Cormac. "She's basically Peter Parker to him and would be like, 'Oh my God, it's Ben Gates! What do I do?'
"That's how our universe is. We would love to bring any of the other veterans if we get another season. We have roles for all of them."
National Treasure: Edge of History returning cast members
While Cage may be notably absent from National Treasure: Edge of History, two other key players from the original films are back for more exciting adventures.
Justin Bartha reprises the role of genius tech expert Riley Poole, who has become a celebrity in the years since the second film thanks to his association with Benjamin's magnificent finds.
Meanwhile, Harvey Keitel also returns as FBI agent Peter Sadusky who is said to have a major role in the Disney Plus show, which also introduces his character's grandson, Liam (Jake Austin Walker).
Fans can expect some consistency behind the camera too, as Olivera told Entertainment Weekly.
"It was the same voices behind the movies — the same producers, same writers, Trevor Rabin, who is the composer for the films, came back to also do our show — so I knew I was in safe hands," she said.
National Treasure: Edge of History premieres on Disney Plus on Wednesday 14th December 2022. New episodes weekly. Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year.