For Walt Disney Pictures churning out sequels and turning hit movies into blockbuster franchises is just business as usual. Long before the company unleashed its 3D digital extravaganza, TRON: Legacy, there was little question about the possibility of TRON 3 being made.
News about the animated TRON TV series was released last month and now reports are coming in that the Mouse House will greenlight a followup to TRON: Legacy soon, thus ensuring that the cyber world adventure franchise will continue to live on even longer.
This rumor comes from Ain’t It Cool News, which says that Disney is quite pleased with the returns from the TRON sequel so far. TRON: Legacy has amassed some $300 million at the worldwide box office, which almost covers its estimated $170 million production budget, since half of the ticket sales go to theater patrons. While Disney also spent another $120 million or so advertising the project globally, the company expects to make a bundle off future 3D Blu-ray and regular DVD sales as well.
Merchandising tie-ins are also quite important to Disney and TRON: Legacy has reaped healthy amounts of profit from toy Light Cycles, Identity Discs, etc. – not to mention the film’s Daft Punk score, which continues to rank as a bestseller. Between all the revenue already accumulated by the project and expectations for future profit, there’s little reason to doubt that Disney won’t profit off the TRON sequel at the end of the day.
Like James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, TRON 3 would also be a less expensive undertaking as the sets and costumes used to bring “The Grid’ to life in Legacy have already been constructed, while the necessary 3D camera/motion-capture technology – along with the software for realizing the film’s stylized visual F/X – has improved significantly over the last couple of years. So, really, why shouldn’t Disney move ahead with another TRON movie?
TRON creator/producer Steven Lisberger revealed recently that development of storylines for TRON 3 has already begun and the story broke in mid-2010 that TRON: Legacy screenwriters/executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz had already been commissioned to write the threequel for Disney. As our Vic Holtreman pointed out in his TRON: Legacy review, the film is effective in its use of 3D and contains some stunning visuals, but ultimately “[it] is all about the eye candy, and not much else.” There’s little reason to suspect that TRON 3 won’t be more of the same, especially if it involves the same individuals that worked on Legacy.
While TRON: Legacy had its share of fun moments (like the Light Cycle race), the Identity Disc duels, or the End of Line Club sequence, it was often dragged down by scenes of characters delivering extraneous amounts of exposition to help flesh out and develop the history of the TRON universe. The sequel’s plot was overall rather muddled and thin, and, in my opinion, left us with little reason to want to see the series continue in TRON 3 – other than the fact that a second sequel would mean more snazzy 3D visuals.
Disney seems determined to press on with the TRON franchise and, from a financial point of view, it’s hard to argue that they shouldn’t. So, since TRON 3 now looks to be all but inevitable, how can the filmmakers improve on TRON: Legacy (besides coming up with a more comprehensible plot, that is)?
Source: Ain’t It Cool News