In 2010, after years of hype and anticipation, Tron: Legacy hit theaters around the world to a mixed response from film critics, audiences, and fans alike. Maybe expectations were just too high for any film to fulfill, but despite the cool reception Legacy marched on to a $400 million worldwide box office take, against a $170 million production budget. The sequel was ultimately successful for Disney and its director Joseph Kosinski, as the promise of Tron 3 was just around the corner.
Tron: Legacy co-screenwriter Adam Horowitz recently talked to Todd Gilchrist from Forbes.com about the mixed reactions to the Tron sequel and the progress of Tron 3. While Legacy wasn’t a game-changing movie, it still packed a punch with deep world building and exciting action. The film’s success was mainly due to its 3D and IMAX presentation, while audiences were dazzled with its visual artistry. Horowitz says:
Every movie gets a mixed reception to some extent. And whatever the critics said or didn’t say, we were very humbled by the praise and humbled by the criticisms. But, what really meant the most to me is, and I remember this very fondly, which was opening weekend of the movie, driving over to Burbank and going into one of the theaters in there that was packed and seeing kids who were my age, when I saw the original TRON, staring up at the light jets. And like that’s all I needed — because that was like I got to see myself in that audience.
Although Tron: Legacy wasn’t an instant success, its eventual box office take suggested Tron 3 would soon be in the works. But after three years since its release, when will Tron 3 find its way to theaters? According to Horowitz:
Hopefully we’ll have some news about what’s going on forward with the next one soon. There’s nothing official to announce now but hopefully soon, but it’s chugging along. It is. Eddie [Kitsis] and I are co-producers on the film. And we have a script that’s being written by a great writer named Jesse Wigutow. And we’re really, really excited. I mean the studio is hopefully excited, but Joe is involved and everybody’s involved and everybody is waiting to get the go-ahead and we’re hopeful.
At the moment, Tron 3 is still in development at Disney with director Joseph Kosinski busy with other science fiction projects such as The Black Hole reboot, The Twilight Zone film adaptation, and the new sci-fi TV series Ballistic City for AMC. Although Kosinski confirmed the sequel would be shot in the IMAX format, Tron 3‘s status is still up in the air with no clear greenlight or release date from Disney. There’s no telling when audiences will return to The Grid.
Joseph Kosinski has even teased specific elements of Tron 3, namely with the appearance of the character Edward Dillinger Jr., the head of the software design team for ENCOM and son of Ed Dillinger (David Warner) from the original TRON. Actor Cillian Murphy played Dillinger in Tron: Legacy, which seemed odd because Murphy is a very notable and recognizable actor and he was only featured in one scene at the very beginning of the movie. While Murphy was uncredited in Legacy, it seems likely that he’ll have a much bigger role in Tron 3.
It is believed that Tron 3 will follow the journey of Quorra (Olivia Wilde), Kevin Flynn’s (Jeff Bridges) apprentice in the Grid, instead of returning to Sam Flynn’s (Garrett Hedlund) storyline.