National Treasure Series on Disney+ Finds Its Lead in Lisette Alexis

The popular Nicolas Cage movie franchise National Treasure is heading to TV, with a brand new lead and storyline in a Disney+ series, and it looks like that lead will be Total Eclipse star Lisette Alexis. While it was reported in 2020 that Cage was possibly on board for a third movie, the TV series will bring a younger cast in to tell a different story to the movies, but still comes from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who originally discussed the project with Collider in May last year.

“We’re certainly working on one [National Treasure] for streaming and we’re working on one for the big screen,” Bruckheimer said at the time. “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.”

Now we know that the younger cast of the series will be led by Lisette Alexis, who will play Jess, who ends up on the hunt for a secret Pan-American treasure while seeking out the answers to questions she has about the history of her family. According to new details about the character, Jess is said to have a “brilliant and resourceful mind” with a love of mysteries and a “natural talent for solving puzzles.” As you can probably guess, what begins with Jess’s search for information about her parents leads to her uncovering a previously unknown family history and a connection to a lost treasure, which will lead to all kinds of wild and exciting adventures.

Joining Jerry Bruckheimer, who executively produces, is original director Jon Turteltaub, although Mira Nair will direct the first episode, and writing duo of Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, who are co-penning the series pilot with Rick Muirragui. Production on the series is expected to begin early next year, with the series likely to arrive on Disney+ toward the end of the year or early 2023 if all goes to plan.

While the character of Benjamin Franklin Gates, Cage’s character in the franchise, won’t feature in the series, the show is said to be an “extension” of the movies, which could suggest that Gates will have some kind of spiritual connection to the series, which could then lead into the third movie, similar in many ways to how Disney and Marvel are playing many of their TV series such as WandaVision and Ms. Marvel as stepping stones into upcoming big screen adventures.

National Treasure was released in 2004, with Cage playing historian and amateur cryptologist Gates on the hunt for a huge stockpile of artifacts, the location of which is written on a coded map that is hidden on the back of the Declaration of Independence. The film gained mixed critical reviews, but was a box office hit, grossing over $347 million, and leading to the sequel, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, being released in 2007. The second film performed even better on its box office run, but once again failed to get the full support of critics who claimed it was little more than a rehash of the original movie. It is surprising that it has taken almost 15 years for Disney to dip back into the franchise, but with many legacy sequels arriving at the moment, and the added need for new content for their streaming platform, it was only a matter of time before it was going to come.

This story was originally reported by Deadline.