National Treasure: Edge of History has wrapped filming and is almost in the final stages of post-production. The series’ first look has offered some apparent connections to the original film series in the form of Justin Bartha and Harvey Keitel’s return to the franchise. The series began with the 2004 movie national treasure, starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, Justin Bartha, and Jon Voight. The next movie National Treasure: Book of Secretswith new joiners Helen Mirren and Ed Harris, was released in 2007.
The second film ended with a hint of a potential sequel; however, the third film remained in development hell for years. Nicolas Cage was attached to the third film with the script being completed by the following year. However, Walt Disney Studios never greenlit the film owing to a dissatisfactory plot. Only after a successful launch of Disney+ did the studio move to a television series based on the franchise. Earlier seemed to be a reboot, but the film was later revealed to be a continuation of the film series.
In a recent interview with Collider, the cast shed some light on how the series continues after the second film. Upon being asked about the series’ continuation from the movie, actress Lisette Olivera said that people would be able to gather elements that are directly derived from the second film, just that those events will be picked up twenty years later.
The treasure that we follow and uncovering all of the mysteries, that we have on the show – each episode kind of leads into the next. You know, I think parts of the treasure [followed in the series] were mentioned in the second movie. I don’t know if I could say that – but the pan-American treasure was introduced then, so it’s a continuation of the original movies only twenty years later.
Olivera’s co-star Lyndon Smith added how the series would be an expansion of the two films.
I’m excited for the people to see how much we have really expanded the world because if you liked the first two movies, we are essentially giving you ten mini-movies. So this still has the same spirit of that amazing action that you get from the movies. We deliver a huge set piece every single episode.
National Treasure: Edge of History is being directed by Mira Nair (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Namesake) and will comprise ten episodes.
Connecting Dots to the Films
The series hints at initial connections to the film series via two significant characters. One is Justin Bartha’s Riley Poole, who assisted Benjamin Gates in his quest for treasures in the films. Besides Bartha, Harvey Keitel is reprising his role as former FBI Agent Peter Sadusky, who pursues Gates throughout his treasure hunt. The character will have a continuing legacy in the show. Jake Austin Walker is portraying Liam Sadusky, grandson of Keitel’s character, who will find himself amid his grandfather’s early pursuits. Talking about his character, Walker said,
My character Liam Sadusky is the grandson of Peter Sadusky, who was the head FBI agent on the original two movies following the case you see through Liam the damage that can be done from the treasure hunt. I feel like the first two movies showed the dangers but he [Liam] is the by-product of the aftermath of that lifestyle.
There aren’t many details about the show that are public yet, and there’s no release date for now. But, the fact that there will be elements to pick up from the original films would indeed have the fanbase excited about it.
The series’ official synopsis says,
The Disney+ Original series, “National Treasure: Edge of History” is an expansion of the “National Treasure” movie franchise told from the point of view of a young heroine, Jess (Lisette Olivera), a brilliant and resourceful DREAMer in search of answers about her family — who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about the past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.