The Tron franchise first kicked off in 1982, with the release of the Disney-produced film, Tron. The film is a science fiction adventure film written and directed by Steven Lisberger. Tron follows computer engineer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who seeks to hack into his company’s computer system after discovering an executive, Ed Dillinger (David Warner) has stolen his work. However, he ends up being sucked into the digital world, known as the Grid, where he enlists the help of Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) to fight against Dillinger’s computer likeness and the Master Control program.
Upon its release, Tron received mixed-to-positive reviews. It certainly made history for being one of the earliest films to utilize extensive CGI. The visuals and acting performances in the film were phenomenal, though the jumbled script was a bit hard to follow. Despite its less than stellular reception, the film would go on to gain a cult following. This spurned Tron into a media franchise that spanned comic books, video games, and a Disney XD animated series.
28 years after Tron premiered, a sequel was released in 2010 titled Tron: Legacy. The film follows Flynn’s (Bridges) adult son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund) who has been haunted by his father’s mysterious disappearance. A signal then draws him into the Grid, where he is reunited with his father, who has been stuck there for years. Together, with help from the isomorphic algorithm, Quorra (Olivia Wilde), the father and son seek to escape. Tron: Legacy fared similar to its predecessor – it received mixed reviews upon opening, but later gained a significant following. What lies in the franchise’s future?
Tron 3 moving forward with Jared Leto
After years of silence and uncertainty, it was reported on January 19, that Tron 3 is officially back in development and will star Jared Leto. Leto had been tied to the franchise since 2017, but updates were so few and far between some worried the film had been canceled. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Joachim Ronning is in talks to direct the film, which will be titled Tron: Ares. The film is being developed under Disney, just like its predecessors. No further details of the film were released, but fans can rest assured that Tron 3 finally received a positive update, confirming it will still become a reality.
The long road to Tron 3
For many years, the consensus on whether there would be a Tron 3 went back and forth between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Prior to the release of Tron: Legacy, Lisberger revealed that a sequel to the film was already in development. By 2015, the film had been officially greenlit by Disney with Hedlund and Wilde returning. Within months of the confirmation, though, Disney decided to indefinitely pause work on the film. Meanwhile, both Wilde and Hedlund both stated that the sequel had been scrapped. The decision was reportedly made because of the epic box office flop of Tomorrowland.
Two years later, though, director Joseph Kosinski revealed that the sequel wasn’t scrapped, but that production was merely paused. Meanwhile, Jared Leto was reportedly tapped to star in the film and also confirmed that there is work going on behind the scenes. However, despite Leto hinting that news was forthcoming, Disney didn’t immediately comment on the status of the film. Updates then petered out completely beginning in 2020.
With nothing being very official, there was a chance that the sequel could still be scrapped again. However, there remained hope that at least some progress was being made on the film. After all, the first sequel came out nearly 28 years after the original, so it certainly wasn’t too long for Tron 3 to still become a reality. Now, that hope has seemingly paid off with the first official update on the film in years.
(featured image: Disney)
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