The original Tron is today regarded as one of the most unusual films in the Disney canon and an ubiquitous part of the company’s unusual early-1980s transitional phase, but the film wasn’t a box-office hit in its day. The decades-later sequel, Tron Legacy, did better business but not quite enough to keep Disney from ultimately cancelling plans for a third film, following the box office disappointments of The Lone Ranger and Tomorrowland. Despite this, Tron fans remain hopeful that a trip back to The Grid might someday become a reality.
Now, in an interview with ScreenRant, producer and former Disney development executive Brigham Taylor has signaled that those hopes remain alive at the studio as well.
As part of an upcoming interview mainly focused on his work as producer of Jon Favreau’s live-action Jungle Book movie, Taylor mentioned Tron among multiple examples of Disney properties that have been revived as modern blockbusters despite not being major hits in their day. When pressed as to whether this meant there was still life in the cult-favorite sci-fi franchise, he had this to say:
“I’m always hope 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.”
The original Tron utilized then-groundbreaking CGI, backlit-animation techniques and designs by legendary artist Moebius in order to imagine the electronic world inside the memory and circuits of a powerful supercomputer; and told the story of a programmer and video game expert named Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who was “digitized” into the virtual world by the sentient Master Control Program when he tried to thwart its sinister ambitions in the real world. Teaming with digital freedom fighter Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) he attempted to destroy the MCP and escape back to the real world. While not a financial success, it found a loyal following on home video — particularly among video game fans.
Bridges returned to help rescue his similarly digitized son and battle an evil doppleganger in the much-hyped Tron Legacy, which was well-received but ultimately did not earn enough to offset its expensive production and sluggish merchandising. After seeing several subsequent live-action features bomb at the box office, Disney canceled early plans for a third installment and news has been quiet ever since. While the potential Tron 3 never advanced far into production, early rumors had suggested that Suicide Squad star Jared Leto was being sought for an undisclosed role.
ScreenRant’s full interview with producer Brigham Taylor is coming soon, and we’ll keep you updated with news on Tron 3 as it develops.