Tron: Legacy was profitable for Disney, profitable enough to justify making Tron: Legacy 2, but just barely. On a $175 million budget, Tron: Legacy pulled in over $400 million. Not record-setting but not bad either. It wasn’t what Disney had hoped for, given the original eighties Tron was so beloved and had high fan interest. That hasn’t stopped them from wanting more and now we know Tron 3 is happening.
Tron: Legacy’s ending gave screenwriter’s a natural opening for a Tron 3 if they wished to take it as Sam and Quorra both rematerialized in the real world after deactivating The Grid and rode off into the sunset together. Seems like an easy way to start a sequel, and shortly after the movie’s 2015 debut work began on making Tron: Legacy 2. Now Tron 3 is finally happening.
We went into the Grid and came back with details on what Disney is planning for the Tron: Legacy sequel.
The Cast Of The Sequel
Jared Leto recently became part of talks to star in Tron: Legacy 2. Now we know Leto will star in the film. The trades have confirmed that Jared Leto is set to star in Tron 3. Reportedly the Academy Award winning actor is set to star as Ares. You may remember Ares being mentioned in Tron: Legacy as a resistance leader. It seems the new movie will focus on him, perhaps in his younger days.
Here’s what Leto says about his casting on Tron 3: “I’m struck with such gratitude for the opportunity to bring this movie to life, especially as both the original video game and the film affected me so deeply as a young child. The fact that I get to be a part of this new chapter is mind-blowing. I am so very excited and proud to confirm that YES – I will be starring in Tron. We will work as hard as we possibly can to create something that I hope you all will love. We have some very special ideas in store for you all.“
While both Hedlund and Wilde had signed on to a sequel back in 2015, their status was not known for this current version of Tron 3.
The People Making Tron 3
While at first it was rumored that Tron: Legacy 2 would be a reboot, it looks like it’s actually going to be more of a sequel spinoff of Tron: Legacy. You could also think of it as Tron 3. The idea has been in development for awhile and now according to various sources it’s moving forward.
According to Deadline Gareth Davis has been tapped to direct Tron: Legacy 2 or Tron 3 or whatever they end up calling it. Davis has in the past mostly worked on critically acclaimed arthouse films and this will be his first ever blockbuster movie project. Apparently Davis was passionate about jumping into the world of Tron and it was the aggressiveness with which he went after the job that helped him get it. Hopefully that means good things for fans, to have another passionate fan in charge of the franchise.
So, it seems Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski will not helm Tron 3, though he may still be involved in some capacity.
Adding further fuel to this fire in early April 2020, Legacy director Joseph Kosinski had this to say about the possibility of Tron 3: “There’s always been an interest since Legacy [for a sequel]. There’s always been talk and murmuring of doing another and continuing the story. I was in China a few years ago and saw them building the TRON ride in Shanghai, which, apparently, is pretty amazing, I would love to experience that at some point. I think it’s still a nice jewel in the crown of Disney IP and I think there are fans and people petitioning and pushing to continue it inside the halls of Disney. So I think it could happen. Like anything, it just needs the right confluence of … it’s all about timing and the right elements and everything’s got to come together for a movie to happen. I think it’s possible and I think it’s worthy of it. I think there’s enough ideas in the franchise, and the fact that it is so unique and nothing else looks or sounds like it, that TRON story. There is, I think, a future for the franchise and I hope they keep making them.“
Rumor has it that Jesse Wigatow has been hired to write the Tron: Legacy 2 script though that has yet to be confirmed.
Bringing Back Daft Punk For Tron 3
One of the best things about Tron: Legacy was its incredible soundtrack by Daft Punk. The techno music duo even briefly cameoed in the film. Bringing them back to do the soundtrack for Tron 3 should be a priority, and it seems Disney agrees.
Disney’s President of Music & Soundtracks Mitchell Leib recently had this to say to the Light the Fuse podcast about bringing back Daft Punk for Tron: Legacy 2 – “We’re in the big movie business, and unless it’s a big movie idea, we don’t make small movies. We’re only after basically billion dollar box office hits… Daft Punk has a bit of a television and movie development company, and all kinds of things they’re into, businesses they’re into. So I had lunch with Paul Hahn to further a bit of a starting conversation that we’re looking at making a sequel to Tron now, we’re looking at Tron 3. And we’ve got a great script, I mean a really phenomenal script that we’re very excited about. Whereas the timing wasn’t right to have done it years ago, I think we feel like the timing is right now, and I feel like we’ve learned a lot of lessons from that last movie.”
The soundtrack of Tron 3 is so important to Disney that apparently it’s their priority above almost everything else. Leib continues, “The right and first thing to do is to try and bring Daft Punk, and would they want to. And the answer is they’re always open to anything and everything, but you gotta take it as it comes and see what the circumstances are. We don’t even know who would be directing it, I mean we’re hopeful Joe Kosinski would come back and do another one.”
A Previous Attempt To Make Tron: Legacy 2
For five years following the release of Legacy, Tron: Legacy 2 was on track. Joseph Kosinski (upcoming Top Gun: Maverick), director of Legacy, was set to return for the sci-fi movie sequel, Jesse Wigutow had been hired to write the script, both Heglund and Wilde had signed on to return, and at the time rumor was they had even decided on a title for Tron 3, Tron: Ascension.
But in 2015, the House of Mouse decided to pull the plug on Tron: Legacy 2 aka Tron: Ascension. This was a mere few months before production was to officially begin in October of 2015. Some reports say Tron 3 was never officially greenlit, though how production was to begin in October if that were the case is unknown. There were also reports suggesting it apprehension over some of director Kosinski’s production choices which led to the third installment not being worth the financial risk it would pose.
Occasionally, after Tron: Legacy 2 was shot down, various reports popped up saying the project may not be completely dead. Back in 2016, Disney producer Brigham Taylor, who had worked with Jon Favreau on the live-action Jungle Book, still had hopes for Tron 3, which he shared with ScreenRant. “I’m always hoping for that. I just had a wonderful visit to Shanghai, where they have an amazing attraction based on Tron Legacy. The designers just did such an amazing job creating the feeling of stepping onto The Grid, and that indelible visual world that Lisberger created and Kosinski explored… and I think there’s a real stickiness to that that I hope can grow into a film or whatever else. So I don’t know what I’d “hint” at other than that I hope for that, and that there’s obviously been conversations.”
Where Tron Started
Back in the early ‘80s, Walt Disney Productions came out with a then ground-breaking movie called Tron. The special effects-heavy film followed brilliant video game maker Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges, and two associates, Bruce Boxleitner (The Gambler, Kuffs) and Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack), as they are sucked into cyberspace in attempts to prove Flynn’s games are being plagiarized. Seems the Master Control Program (MCP) has become power-hungry and will stop at nothing to keep what it feels is his.
The movie was remarkable on many levels, most notably technical. Rumor had it back then that a second Tron was going to be made but it took nearly 20 years before rumor became reality. And now here we are talking about Tron 3.
Tron: Legacy is the sequel that followed Kevin Flynn’s son Sam, played by Garrett Hedlund (Friday Night Lights, Mudbound), who is a primary shareholder at ENCOM, the computer company his father worked for before he was sucked into cyberspace. Jeff Bridges returned in his role as Kevin Flynn and also Clu, a more advanced version of Flynn’s original computer-hacking program, more much powerful and deadly. Bruce Boxleitner also returned as Alan Bradley and Tron.
The sequel brought aboard Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) as Quorra, an iso algorithm that can fight and Michael Sheen (Prodigal Son, Dolittle) as a flamboyant supermodel program who runs a club at the top of the tallest tower in the system called End of Line Club.