Director Joseph Kosinski has recently found great success with the popular action sequel Top Gun: Maverick. Kosinski has resurrected a franchise some four decades after its original film soared onto screens, a feat that he almost matched with Tron: Legacy. However, when Kosinski tried to get another Tron sequel made, Disney shut him down and as Variety reports, Tron 3 was killed off because of Marvel and Star Wars.
Before Joseph Kosinski made the second-biggest Thursday opening film ever in Top Gun: Maverick, he directed the Disney sequel Tron: Legacy. The 2010 science-fiction film was the sequel to the 1980s cult classic Tron and had Garrett Hedlund star as Sam Flynn and travel to the digital world designed by his father Kevin (a returning Jeff Bridges) in an attempt to save his old man. The film also starred the likes of Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen. In 2015, Kosinski was ready to go with Tron 3 aka Tron: Ascension. Variety cites an interview Kosinski had with Vulture where he outlined how the project was going and why it met an ill-fated end; “I got so close. I really tried. “But it was a different Disney by 2015. “When I made ‘Tron: Legacy,’ they didn’t own Marvel; they didn’t own ‘Star Wars.’ We were the play for fantasy and science fiction. And once you’ve got those other things under your umbrella, it makes sense that you’re going to put your money into a known property and not the weird art student with black fingernails in the corner — that was ‘Tron.’ And that’s okay.”
Joseph Kosinski’s pitch for Tron 3, which had already been storyboarded from start to finish was to bring the digital world of the first two films into the real world, in layman’s terms, Jumanji with more pixels. An interesting concept that would sadly not see the light of day then, now, or indeed, in the future. Given Disney’s logic of shutting the film down, chiefly the fact by 2015 they had the two biggest science-fiction franchises in-house to play with, it seems justifiable that Kosinski doesn’t bear any grudges. However, what might have been if Kosinski had been able to pitch Tron 3 sooner? After all, Tron: Legacy performed modestly at the box office, pulling in a reported $400 million worldwide. So there could have been grounds to pursue another Tron movie as a follow-up, especially if you consider the cult status that came about following the film’s release, a label it shares with its predecessor.
While Joseph Kosinski seems resigned to the fate that his Tron 3 movie will never get made. However, it would appear that despite Disney killing off the idea in the past as a result of Star Wars and Marvel, they now seem keen on the idea of a Tron 3 film happening. According to reports, Morbius star Jared Leto is set to star in a Tron 3 project that has been quietly bubbling away at Disney. This project is different from Kosinski’s failed bid and it is suggested that Gareth Davis is in line to direct the long-awaited sequel. Beyond that, not much is known about the movie, whether Disney is set to fully green-light the project or what the details of the plot are. Given how big a role Star Wars and Marvel still plays at Disney, it should come as no surprise that the resurrected notion of Tron 3 is still on the back burner. However, should Tron 3 come to life, it could offer fans a refreshing alternative to the two big franchises that currently dominate Disney’s ongoing slate of projects.