The sequel to Disney's 2004 Nicolas Cage hit, "National Treasure," will be before the cameras the first of the year, reports Jon Turteltaub, who directed and co-produced the film with Jerry Bruckheimer.
"We are just about to start preproduction," says the renowned filmmaker responsible for such big-screen hits as "While You Were Sleeping," "Phenomenon" and "The Kid." "We'll have Nic, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel ... Everyone's back except anyone who's in jail or died." The first film followed archaeologist Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage) on a search for a hidden treasure from the 1700s secretly mapped out on the back of the Declaration of Independence. "A lot of people said, 'No one will ever go see this,' " recalls Turteltaub. "But we really thought the world wanted smart action heroes and liked history and puzzles and I guess we were right." Indeed, "National Treasure" went on to earn a worldwide gross of $348 million. He says the sequel will take our intrepid adventurers to "exciting destinations within America as well as around the world. As we were shooting the first one, it kept changing, so I'm scared to commit to anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if Mount Rushmore made an appearance." MEANWHILE:
Turteltaub will be juggling "National Treasure 2" with CBS' new fall drama "Jericho," starring Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney. He's executive-producing the series and directed the first episode, scheduled to premiere Sept. 20.