After hungrily watching National Treasure: Book of Secrets rake in $218 million domestic last December, Hollywood has apparently decided that what we really want is more movies about treasure hunting. On Tuesday, Erik Davis told you about Beaujolais, the new Farrelly-produced comedy about a treasure-hunting version of Ace Ventura or Austin Powers. Now comes news that Iron Jack, a spec script about a novelist's pursuit of legendary treasure in the 1930s, sparked a bidding war among studios, with Columbia picking it up for $1.25 million against $2 million (which means the writer will get an extra $750,000 if the film is actually produced). The screenwriter responsible is Johnny Rosenthal, who's had a number of things in the works over the years (including an interesting-looking comedy about a pilot who is forced to become a flight attendant to learn gender sensitivity), but with nothing coming to fruition.

The two National Treasures were a perfect demonstration of the line between treasure-hunting movies that are breezy and entertaining (the first one) and ones that are plodding, boring and ridiculous (the second). The Indiana Jones films are the genre's gold standard, of course, so The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull should hold you over nicely until Iron Jack, Beaujolais, and no doubt a third National Treasure show up at a theater near you.