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NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS

About The Production
It's always nice to know when hard work is appreciated, and audiences around the world were definitely sending a message to producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub when "National Treasure” grossed more than $347 million worldwide upon its release in 2004. In fact, despite its fervent plunge into American history, the movie made almost exactly the same amount of money overseas as it did stateside. "I'm always surprised when an audience likes what we do,” readily admits Bruckheimer. "You know, we make these movies in a kind of vacuum, we have nobody telling us what's right and wrong. It all comes from instinct and surrounding ourselves with talented people. It takes just as much hard work on a picture that doesn't work for an audience as one that does, so you're always pleasantly surprised when they're excited by a movie.

"I like adventure films that take you to other places and where you can learn things on the way, and that's what ‘National Treasure' was,” continues the producer. "It was suspenseful, humorous, had engaging characters and, maybe best of all, used American history as a jumping-off point for a very entertaining film. Audiences love to be entertained, but they also love to learn something.

"I also love history and learning about it myself,” adds Bruckheimer. "But you know, just laying a bunch of historical facts on the screen is going to bore an audience half to death, including me. So what we had to do to make ‘National Treasure' a real adventure was to find facts that audiences might not know much about, make it exciting to discover, and put the characters in jeopardy. And unfortunately for Ben, Abigail and Riley, they got into a lot of jeopardy! When the first film opened, some people said that it was a wonderful American movie but nobody outside of the U.S. would see it. As it turned out, our foreign box office was the same as our domestic box office, so it just goes to show that people all over the world responded to the same thing about ‘National Treasure.' If you make a fun movie, they will all come.”

Like Bruckheimer's "Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy, "National Treasure” maintained an across-the-demographic-board appeal to a wide range of moviegoers, from kids to older adults, a rare and true "family film” in the sense that three generations could watch it together with an equal sense of fun and entertainment…as opposed to a film for kids, which parents and/or grandparents have to endure rather than truly enjoy.

Clearly, based upon the public's enthusiastic response to the first film, audiences wanted more of the same. And Bruckheimer, as is his tradition, would give them not only more, but better. Once again, Bruckheimer partnered with director Jon Turteltaub, a filmmaker who brings a rare gift to contemporary filmmaking: a genuinely charming, unpretentious, light touch, in which he seamlessly weaves action and adventure with romance and humor in ways which deftly recall such early elegant '60s entertainments as "Charade” and "Topkapi,” albeit laced with 21st-century technology and sensibilities. "What we want to stress in the ‘National Treasure' movies is that it's fun and, in ways that sneak up on you, educational as well,” notes Bruckheimer. "Jon is very smart about keeping action very suspenseful, yet having the humor undercut the suspense. He's a master of walking that line.”

The first "National Treasure” film was developed by Jon Turteltaub after hearing the story idea from Oren Aviv (now President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production) and Charles Segars, who shared story credit with writer Jim Kouf on the first film. Aviv and Segars served as Executive Producers of "National Treasure” and NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS. To develop and write the screenplay for NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS, the filmmakers turned to t

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