As I stated in last Thursday’s post I had put in a couple of weeks brainstorming the story by the time I called my producer friend Howard on June 16, 2005. First, we chatted about the possibilities of a fourth Indiana Jones, as the rumor mill was then churning that a script was in the works. It was true, Howard told me – his friend George (yes, that George) wasn’t taking calls from anyone, and instead had locked himself away to write. Towards the end of our conversation I mentioned my ideas for a National Treasure sequel. This grabbed his attention. He told me he had been approached about a possible TV spin-off. And he encouraged me to get writing.
By June 20th, I started in on the actual writing during my morning commute. The next day a sequel for National Treasure was announced in the press. I contacted Howard later that day and asked if I should toss it in light of this news. His first impulse was to advise me to pull the plug. But on second consideration he thought it might prove worthwhile to keep going, if nothing more than to enhance my writing skills.
So I kept going, originally thinking I’d just try to see how far I’d get in thirty days. And I soon fell into a rhythm of reading on the morning bus and writing on the afternoon one. And I took to using a spreadsheet to collect and organize all my ideas for the plot.
I went beyond thirty days. By September 23 I was up to 63 pages (in Final Draft), the whole swelling to 194 pages exactly one year later, and before I began the first rewrite in August of 2006. Or would “unwrite” be a better word? For I was chopping dialogue, scenes, sequences, etc., and rewriting to smooth out the story and to get the page count down.

The whole is actually two stories as I had designed it in the beginning – a contemporary one showing the hero seeking to clear his name by uncovering the parallel story of what his ancestor had done; and how that past was now impacting his present. (A little DW Griffith-ish).


In the beginning of June 2005 I was toying with some ideas that I thought could make a good sequel to 2004’s National Treasure. Like the original it had those elements that excited me – adventure and history. I jotted notes on my morning bus ride to work.
The day after I started writing Rebel Treasure, the press announced that a sequel to National Treasure was in the works. For reasons that I will go into later, I kept on with the project.
2007 saw the release of National Treasure Book of Secrets. Eerily many of the same ideas in my script popped up in this film. Though perhaps it shouldn’t be considered too strange, given that they had settled on the same historical time period that I had chosen.
This I mention as one of the reasons I am going to serialize my script Rebel Treasure on this blog. It would certainly not be made now, mainly for the similarities, (and for another I believe the production costs would be prohibitive).
There is another reason that I want to do this. I am in the throes of completing my stage play The OutR Dark, and want to move immediately from that to my next project a new screenplay. Serializing it on my blog will keep its content flowing (I’ll still on occasion put up a memory or two), and free up my writing time for these two projects.
Beginning tomorrow, Rebel Treasure will unspool on the pages of this blog.

So stay tuned and Watch This Space.