The Time Nic Cage Basically Went On A Real Life National Treasure Hunt

Nicolas Cage as Ben Gates in National Treasure
(Image credit: (Disney))

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Nicolas Cage is one of the few actors out there that seems to have a life just as (or even more) interesting than the famed movies he’s been a part of. He’s already set to star as an elevated version of himself in the upcoming project The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent next year. And as it turns out, he also took up his own National Treasure-type adventure at one point.

Once, the Face/Off actor described a chapter in his life where he went on a “quest” after reading books and following clues. How he tells it:

I went years where all I was doing was meditating three times a day and reading books on philosophy, not drinking whatsoever. That was the time when I almost went on—you might call it a grail quest. I started following mythology, and I was finding properties that aligned with that. It was almost like National Treasure. Of course, that didn’t sustain.

What a legend. Nicolas Cage is known well for playing Ben Gates in Disney’s National Treasure movies that came out back in 2004 and 2007. For over a decade now, a third installment has been in the works from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who recently assured fans that it’s on its way to the big screen. Bruckheimer also announced a National Treasure Disney+ series that is in development as well. It will feature a new and younger cast, while the movie reunites the original cast.

Nicolas Cage did not clarify at what part of his life he got into this grail quest, but maybe it was inspired by his work on the film franchise, At one time, the actor even purchased a dinosaur skull for $276,000 before deciding to return it to Mongolia when he found out it had been removed from the country illegally. Anyone else hearing an Indiana Jones voiceover say “it belongs in a museum?”

But Cage ended up coming to the same conclusion as Ben Gates’ father (played by Jon Voight) in National Treasure. One clue leads to another, and it ended up becoming a bottomless manhunt for him. In his words:

One thing would lead to another. It’s like when you build a library. You read a book, and in it there’s a reference to another book, and then you buy that book, and then you attach the references. For me it was all about where was the grail? Was it here? Was it there? Is it at Glastonbury?… If you go to Glastonbury and go to the Chalice Well, there’s a spring that does taste like blood. I guess it’s really because there’s a lot of iron in the water. But legend had it that in that place was a grail chalice, or two cruets rather, one of blood and one of sweat. But that led to there being talk that people had come to Rhode Island, and they were looking for something as well.

As Cage told Vanity Fair, his quest ended up leading him to Rhode Island, where he eventually ended up buying property at. With his treasure hunt at a dead end, he came to this conclusion:

What I ultimately found is: What is the Grail but Earth itself?

And Nicolas Cage is certainly a national treasure, who keeps us thoroughly entertained with great roles. Soon the actor could play the star of Netflix hit Tiger King in an eight-episode series. Stay tuned for updates on National Treasure 3 and its Disney+ series. Both of Nicolas Cage’s treasure hunt movies are now available to stream on Disney+, which offers a free 7-day trial.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.