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‘National Treasure’ Characters Are Announced

The Disney+ National Treasure series from the popular National Treasure (2004) and National Treasure: Book of Secrets  (2007) Disney movies is getting closer and closer (with filming already underway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), and now we know more about who and what to expect on the Disney+ original show!

Apparently, the treasure hunting in this new series is going to have more in common with the second movie than the first: the treasure in the first Disney movie was that of the Freemasons, whereas Cibola was the goal in the sequel.

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Sean Bean as Ian Howe, Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Gates, and Justin Bartha as Riley Poole in ‘National Treasure’. Credit: Disney+ / Walt Disney Pictures

According to Deadline, actor Jacob Vargas (best known for his recent work on the Netflix show Mr. Iglesias) is going to play “a rugged, treasure-obsessed, adventurous soul with a good sense of humor.” That sounds a bit like Benjamin Franklin Gates, the original treasure hunter or “treasure protector” who was the star of the show (and who was played by Nicolas Cage) in the two National Treasure movies! This character will be showing up quite a lot in the new show, too!

The producer of the two successful films, Jerry Bruckheimer, is back for this Disney+ spin-off series. According to Deadline, the show “is an expansion of the National Treasure movie franchise told from the point of view of young heroine Jess [Morales] (Lisette Olivera), a 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.”

jacob vargas national treasure

Credit: Deadline.com / Brandon Moningka

Jess Morales is “a Latina whose brilliant and resourceful mind loves a good mystery, and she has a natural talent for solving puzzles” With a puzzle-solving heroine on a quest to resolve some old family history and a sardonic partner-in-crime (which is what it sounds like Jacob Vargas’s character will be), audiences can most likely expect a similar dynamic to the humorous and banter-filled dynamic that existed between the iconic trio (Benjamin Gates, Riley Poole, and Dr. Abigail Chase) in the two films!

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Justin Bartha as Riley Poole, Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, and Diane Kruger as Dr. Abigail Chase in ‘National Treasure’. Credit: Disney

Justin Bartha will be back in a guest-starring role as the intrepid and comical sidekick Riley Poole; Nicolas Cage and German actress Diane Kruger are not returning for their roles, so far, with Diane Kruger saying that she was not even contacted about the role (although Jerry Bruckheimer did originally seem to want to bring back the original trio of treasure hunters).

Are you going to watch this new show and enjoy some treasure hunting with a new batch of adventurers (and keep an eye out for Riley Poole)?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!