Catherine Zeta-Jones has signed on to co-lead, alongside Lisette Alexis, the National Treasure Disney Plus TV series. Oscar winner Zeta-Jones will play Billie, a badass billionaire, black-market antiquities expert, and treasure hunter who lives by her own code, according to Deadline.
The pilot episode will be helmed by acclaimed director Mira Nair, known for Mississippi Masala (starring Denzel Washington), Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake and Queen of Katwe (starring Lupita Nyong’o). Production will begin this month in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The show will be an expansion of the National Treasure movie franchise told from the point of view of young heroine Jess (Alexis) — a DREAMer in search of answers about her family — who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about the past and save a lost Pan-American treasure. Zeta-Jones’ character Billie transformed herself from a penniless orphan to a shrewd, stylish businesswoman and adventurer. She is used to getting what she wants—and she wants the Pan-American treasure. But not just for the money. This treasure has deeper stakes for her.
The plot of the original 2004 National Treasure famously revolved around a plan to steal the Declaration of Independence. It had an A-list cast that included Christopher Plummer, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel and Sean Bean, along with star Nicolas Cage. It earned around $350 million at the worldwide box office.
The 2007 sequel National Treasure: Book Of Secrets grossed nearly $460 million and revolved around Nicolas Cage’s character trying to clear his ancestor’s name from his involvement in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (obviously).
Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones became a big Hollywood star after making an impression in 1998’s The Mask of Zorro and she won an Oscar for playing Velma Kelly in 2002’s Chicago. Her most recent role was in TV show Prodigal Son, alongside fellow Welsh actor Michael Sheen.
If you’re a fan of movies like National Treasure and Mask of Zorro, check out our guide to the best adventure movies.