"I'm gonna steal the Declaration of Independence."
It's been nearly 20 years since Nicolas Cage uttered that statement in Disney's National Treasure, kicking off a conspiracy theory-laden quest for a lost American treasure that involved the nation's Founding Fathers, invisible ink, clues embedded on the hundred dollar bill and, of course, a map printed on the back of one of America's most precious documents.
Co-starring Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean and Jon Voight, director Jon Turtletaub's film was absolutely ludicrous, and yet it proved to be such an enjoyable romp that audiences turned it into a surprise success for Disney when it was released on November 19, 2004, helping give birth to a sequel, 2007's National Treasure: Book of Secrets, that proved even more successful than its predecessor. And while the promise of a third installment in the franchise gets dimmer with each passing year, the love for the two films we did get only seems to grow.
And so, we've declassified 15 of the most fascinating facts about the franchise. And you don't even need Ben Franklin's multi-color lens glasses to read them.
This story was first published on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 at 3 a.m. PT.