Franchises. That is what Disney is all about now, and with Bob Iger stepping back into control of the company, it’s probably going to be even more about it as the studio appears to be spurring some of its more latent IPs forward now. Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture production president Sean Bailey recently admitted that we are apparently close to hearing news about sequels to three of the company’s beloved(ish) franchises: Tron, Pirates of the Caribbean, and National Treasure. After being asked by the MC of an Asia Pacific event about those three properties in particular, Bailey acknowledged that the studio was hard at work on them and that we’d be hearing news about some of them “really soon.”
“I love those titles and we’d love to bring those,” he said. “We’re hard at work at all the titles you mentioned and some others. Quality has to come first, and we as a group, we start with the quality of the screenplay. We have to have a script in our hands that we feel incredibly passionate about, and then we want to get a filmmaker we feel really passionate about. We’re getting close, and I think we’re going to hear more about some of those really, really soon.”
That’s some corporate speak about content if I’ve ever heard it. But it should be noted that these questions were pre-approved by Disney, and so bringing this up was pretty intentional. It also shouldn’t be that big a surprise. Not only does Disney want to make MOAR franchises, but Tron, Pirates of the Caribbean, and National Treasure have also had sequels in the works in some form or another for a long time.
Tron has the most solidified film sequel at the moment, with Jared Leto still reportedly attached to a new movie that won’t be a direct sequel to the previous films but will be a Tron movie. Pirates of the Caribbean sequels have been swirling for years, though the franchise has sat dormant during Johnny Depp’s trial and scandals as studios have distanced themselves from the actor. Recent rumors (heavy emphasis on rumors) have claimed that the sixth film in the series is being worked on and Depp is actually eyed to return as Captain Jack Sparrow, but Depp himself seemed to refute the idea of returning earlier this year.
Finally, you have National Treasure, which already kind of has a sequel coming with the upcoming Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History. However, when that show was first announced, talk of a film sequel was also mentioned, though it’s been radio silence for a few years on it. Could Nic Cage possibly make a return to uncover more ridiculous mysteries of the founding fathers?