Joseph Kosinski Says ‘TRON 3′ Will Be the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the Series

Published 2 years ago by

Tron 3 Story Details Setting Daft Punk Joseph Kosinski Says TRON 3 Will Be the Empire Strikes Back of the Series

The fan excitement surrounding TRON: Legacy had reached critical mass by the time the movie released, filled to the brim with stunning visuals and callbacks to the original TRON. Unfortunately, the movie was not as financially successful as Disney hoped, and the previously guaranteed sequel (alluded to in viral marketing) lost much of its momentum. Oh, how the times have changed.

Now that Alan Horn is running Disney Studios, his wishes to get TRON 3 rolling have produced immediate results. Director Joseph Kosinski is now providing details on upping the scale of the film and taking the series in a brand new direction.

Development on Legacy‘s sequel has accelerated exponentially in recent weeks, with ‘Son of Flynn’ Garrett Hedlund confirming his involvement and reports backing up Bruce Boxleitner’s past comments of production beginning in 2014. Opening up to Collider, Kosinski provided an update on the script and articulated his hopes for what the sequel will make possible.

Kosinski mirrors many of our own feelings that the universe seen and explored in TRON: Legacy is just too good to let sit on a shelf. But apparently that wasn’t always enough reason for Kosinski to return, as the story and direction Disney had planned was a major factor in his signing on for Tron 3:

“Well the only reason to go back for me and I think for anyone involved would be if we could do something truly spectacular. We’ve been talking about it for a couple years and there’s always been this idea, a big idea, in the back of my head that we’ve been talking about. The idea itself, the notion of what the next ‘Tron’ could be, is exciting enough that it would be worth going back to do it. Obviously we hinted some things at the end of ‘Legacy,’ it’s kind of there for people to see what that potential is. So we just want to make sure that we have a script that delivers on that promise on an epic scale.”

Tron 3 Joseph Kosinski Update Joseph Kosinski Says TRON 3 Will Be the Empire Strikes Back of the Series

“Epic scale”- wise words to use in building excitement, since the action scenes and gladiator ‘games’ of Legacy, while entertaining, were relatively small-scale (dogfighting sequence aside). Apparently the script work by David DiGilio wasn’t quite what Disney was looking for, meaning the pitch that earned Jess Wigutow the job (after writing the script for The Crow reboot) hit a bit closer to home.

The new story being put in place doesn’t just have Kosinski’s commitment, but has him drawing comparisons to one of the most beloved and respected sequels in movie history:

“I’ve said it would have to be our ‘Empire Strikes Back’ for me to come back and for me to pull the whole team back together. I think we do have that idea. We do have the idea that feels big and really blows the doors off this franchise. It’s hinted at promises of something for two movies now, for thirty years, so it’s time to deliver on that. But the script’s got to be at a level that makes it worth going back for, because it’s a lot of work to make a movie like this and it’s a multi-year project. So we’ve got our writer Jesse Wigutow on it right now writing, and fingers crossed if it all comes together, as we hope it will, there could be another ‘Tron’ in the next few years, and it’s going to be awesome.”

A story that delivers on “the promise” of TRON would likely be one focused on the growing interaction between humanity and digital creations at the very least, and a crossover between digital beings into our world at the most. Of course, the largest criticism aimed by many at Legacy was its separation from the digital realities of modern communication and networks entirely, and not dealing with the things the Internet now makes possible.

Tron Legacy Sam Flynn Terminal Joseph Kosinski Says TRON 3 Will Be the Empire Strikes Back of the Series

According to the time frame Kosinski has in mind, the next sequel to Legacy will be less likely to avoid it. A contemporary setting doesn’t just mean catching up on what Sam Flynn (Hedlund) and Quorra (Olivia Wilde) have been up to, but brand new sets and environments for the worlds of blue and white light:

“It feels like we’re kind of real-time in step. So however much time has passed since ‘Legacy’ came out would also have transpired in the real world. So it will still be contemporary. So let’s say if the ‘Tron’ sequel comes out in 2015, then four or five years have passed since the last movie.

“I don’t want to say too much about it but the goal would not be to simply re-use. We’re not going to re-use the assets from ‘Legacy,’ that’s no fun. If we’re going to do to it we’re going to reinvent all over again and it’s going to be a whole new generation for reasons that are very story-driven. That’s all I can say.”

As much as we’d like to speculate on what the ‘new generation’ of effects could be (Light Tanks!!!), it’s far too early to tell. But if the filmmakers have high hopes for the visual splendor of the movie, what about the soundtrack?

Tron 3 Daft Punk Soundtrack Joseph Kosinski Says TRON 3 Will Be the Empire Strikes Back of the Series

Daft Punk was responsible for the sounds of The Grid (and one of the more memorable cameos we can think of), so should they expect to be receiving a phone call sometime soon?

“When it comes to building the team up for soundtrack they would absolutely be my first call. As to whether or not they would do it, it depends on what they’re doing at the time. They are very methodical in how they pick their next project, and they would only do it if they felt that they could dedicate themselves a hundred percent to that. I know they have another album coming out, I’m sure that’s going to be their next big project, which I assume is going to be followed by a massive tour. So, you know, hopefully if they’ve got the time and the creative willingness to dive back in.”

The speed with which TRON 3 has gone from a hope to a reality will take fans some time to get accustomed to, and Kosinski’s prerequisites for returning are encouraging for the more casual moviegoer. If nothing else, Disney and Kosinski appear to be in it for the long haul, and devoting years to making a sequel right is sure to win them plenty of supporters.

We’ll keep you posted on TRON 3 development as more information is released.


Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Collider

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  1. For some reason, Legacy gets a lot of hate from the Internet nerd community. God only knows why. It looked great, was highly entertaining, and the cast was very engaging. Maybe it didn’t have the deepest story, but how easily people forget that the original Tron’s plot was a flimsy excuse to make a feature length SFX tech demo. I’m quite enjoying Uprising in the mean time, so bring on the next movie!

  2. It was mad boring

  3. The little child within me squeals with excitement!! I never saw the original Tron, but when ‘Legacy’ came out, it really captivated my attention. I absolutely love the soundtrack of Legacy, and hope that Daft Punk returns. I am SUPER excited about this : )

  4. Soon after the release of Legacy, I was left to believe the following scenario: the world created by Kevin Flynn had become a veritable Shangri-La in the beckoning of a powerfull new hacker/virus infecting the net. The only resolve is to Sam to pursue the role began by his father, save ENCOM by continuing his role. This time, it would be to train a new digital army — let’s face it, we all remember the fear and awe that those giant carriers and mobile fortresses were suppose to inspire us, so isn’t it time we saw them designed as the forces of Flynn? But preparing to train these “digital guardians of ENCOM” is exactly what Cillian Murphy wants Sam and the MCP wants him to believe is necessary. The MCP actually wants to connect with the world created by Kevin Flynn because of something inside that he wants. Tron? K.Flynn? The power to travel from digital to our world? Can’t say. But only Tron knows for sure and he dissapeared at the end of Legacy. Can’t remember of say exactly where I got this synopsis, but it sure was an interesting debut to me. Inspiring one’s self from another existing epic movie from the begginning, to me, is just a marketing tool to energize the “fanbase”. They can compare all they want with Star Wars, until they come up with something truly original, that combines both a good script and mezmerising effects, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed so they do this one the justice it deserves.

  5. I loved tron:legacy, I went in not knowing anything about the background story or anything about the first movie, it was by chance really, we were at the mall and had time to kill.Little did we know :p…
    I was captivated by it. It was spectacular, and really smooth and sleek in a very un-self-conscious way you know. Usually science fiction movies try so hard to look cool and all, for me Legacy was cool without even trying. Jeff Bridges was great, Garret Hedlund is not too handsome to take focus off the actual movie, and Olivia Wilde was intriguing, the setting, the graphics and the Music, Omg, The music was just wonderful.
    Afterwards I recommended it to everyone who asked, after I saw it and the general consensus was the same as mine about it. So, it was a big deal in Middle-east, that I can say, and it was big because of Word-of-mouth, since it wasn’t being really promoted too much since December is a low time for movies this side of the world, since the weather is extremely pleasant for desert camping and that’s what most of the population is doing, so cinemas are sort of empty. Still Legacy got its due, but in time.
    Now as mentioned in the article, the expanding on tron universe is definitely exciting news. I just hope they will be able to keep it effortlessly cool as they did with Legacy…
    Really looking forward!

  6. why does every movie have to be compared to star wars!…….

    • I’d say because its like a modern day gold standard for fantasy opera. It hits a lot of mythological beats, had used modern, read computer controlled technology, to create special effects and went places the studio system refused to go at the time. In times past it would’ve been Buck Rogers or the Wild West to describe different story beats…

  7. TRON LEGACY was “The greatest” 3-D motion picture experience of my life period.

  8. Legacy was amazing, didn’t catch it in theaters but got the Blu Ray and loved it. My only complaint at all was the actor who played Flynn’s son–reminded me of a typical Disney Channel product. Or I was just resentful because my GF always just talks about how hot he is. But as long as Daft Punk and Kosinski are both in, they’ve got my ticket

  9. I actually enjoyed Legacy. Sure, it wasn’t non-stop action but I thought it was pretty good.

  10. Light Tanks are a must. I was disappointed they didn’t show up in Legacy… but it make sense if they’re in TRON 3 attacking EARTH!

    • they we’re in Legacy, if you rewatch it, and look close you’ll find some

  11. I tryed. I just couldn’t get into this movie. And not that it matters but I hated young Jeff bridges CGI mouth! But that’s not Why I didn’t like it, just found it boring. I’d possibly give the next one a chance if it delivers the goods

  12. As much as i enjoyed the Legacy movie, all i want in next sequel is more digital clones and mind blowing actions.

  13. It baffles me as to why Legacy gets so much negativity thrown at it, I thought it was awesome, Why does it get so much flack over the internet? I even went to see it twice when it came out, once in IMAX, I dont do that very often! So I dont get the hate, The bike seen in the Grid is one of my all time favourite action scenes, I just wish it went longer, Cant wait for Tron3, bring that on, hopefully with Daft Punk again, DP were born in the Grid!

    • Because unfortunately it really was a pretty damn boring and joyless movie. The action, when it happened was pretty effective, the soundtrack was excellent and the visuals were for the most part very well done, but there was in impenetrable wall of meh surrounding the plot and the characters that made it excruciatingly painful to sit through. Also the damn seriousness of the whole thing was suffocating. I’m not saying that every movie must have high-larious quips every ten seconds but jeeeez even the dark knight had ALOT more pizzaz about it.

      Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t hate the movie, I was one of the people hyping the s*** out of it prior to its release and even dragged a couple of mate to opening night. But I was pretty disappointing by it, haven’t even picked up the blu-ray (which I would have if they actually put up some g****** EXTRAS).

      I’m a little surprised that even the die hard tron legacy faithful aren’t worried by the screenwriter, Eragon, seriously?? You’d think if kosinksi & disney wanted to make an ‘empire strikes back’ tron sequel he would get as good a screenwriter as possible. For me the biggest problem with tron legacy was the woeful script.

      In any case I REALLY hope they can improve things for the sequel because as someone mentioned the tron IP has far to much potential to just be killed, but at the moment things are looking a little grim.

      • “Because unfortunately it really was a pretty damn boring and joyless movie” Exactly

  14. The script and articulated his hopes for what the sequel will make possible.

  15. Boring? fair enough, I guess its just a matter of taste, people are pretty hard to please these days, so much analyzing goes on into films I sometimes think people have just forgotton on how to relax and enjoy it for what it is, its just a movie, most films will have plot holes and mistakes, with the exception of films like “Apocalypse Now” (which unfortunatly pure masterpieces like that will never be made again) but yeh most films are lacking somewhere these days, a lot a pretty harshly treated though, “Legacy” is one of them..

  16. Seriously can’t wait for this!! Loved Tron Legacy thought it was awesome!

  17. Enough with the bashing of Tron Legacy. I was part of the origional Tron audience in ’82, and loved it. Having grown older, and with a son of my own, LOVED the Legacy script. Anyone who knows the history of SciFi, knows that the fight for immortality/rebirth is underlying most classic films. I think a lot of these commenters are too young, or haven’t experienced the kind of emotional loss that makes the story resonate. We fight wars (emotional/physical, real/imagined) as a way of creating a safe place where we feel in control. Tron Legacy achieved that, and in the future will become a SciFi cult classic indicative of its time. Tron 3 will, I’m sure, amp up all of these themes, but in a more ‘fanboy’ friendly format, so as not to distract from the action. But I’m sure there will be plenty for those of us who like existential subtext with our ‘all you can eat SPFX buffet! Can’t wait.

    • I think you are over thinking it. I am 40 and an avid sci-fi buff, reader, and fan. The movie just wasn’t that good of a movie. It tried to be to many things and as a result was anything. It wasn’t a good action movie, it wasn’t a good cerebral movie, it wasn’t well acted, it wasn’t a good drama, and outside of some cool settings, it didn’t manifest what its potential was.

  18. This is great news! Tron Legacy was awesome!!

  19. Legacy was a good movie. Yes, the plot was a bit boring and some of the fun of the original was lost because it did have this serious edge to it. The 3rd has to be fun, and introduce a lot more characters people can relate with.
    Legacy was more a son/father thing…the next should be more about friendships formed. That’s what made the original star wars so much fun, because of the bonding of the characters. You actually cared about what happened to them. Unfortunately the prequels…you didn’t carw what happened to them, because you already knew who was going to live and die. There was no suspense in the star wars prequels.
    If they took a cue from Tron Uprising…a truly great Tron 3 could be executed.

  20. I think “Tron Legacy” could have done with a little more colour and fun. However, I really enjoyed it. It actually reminded me of the type of Sci-Fi films you used to get in the 60′s, 70′s and even early 80′s that were a little more slow, pondering and thoughtful, instead of being just non stop action that all follows the same beats to a “big finale”.

  21. they’re allowed to say that now that Disney bought the rights to Star Wars…they are living up the connection for all it’s worth. Tron: Legacy is hardly A New Hope.

  22. I am going to say it. The original Tron movie was terrible. It was so boring and awkward to sit through that it actually caused physical pain. However, it was a really cool idea. Tron Legacy was amazing compared to it’s predecessor, and was okay in modern movie standards. And I have to say that it has been the ONLY movie that has ever been worth paying the extra few bucks to see in 3D.

    I hope that they knock this one out of the park so that this story can finally get the respect it deserves.

  23. looking forward for part 3. what I really like about this film was the soundtrack I love the impact sounds, makes you want to workout. Daft Punks music is perfect for this film

  24. I’m surprised Screenrant did not mention any similarities of Tron: Legacy to The Dark Knight or Nolan…after all, Kevin Flynn is rich (like Bruce Wayne) and has a hot girlfriend who can kick butt and wears tight black outfits (like Catwoman). Plus it’s nighttime with a cityscape in the poster shown above…my God the movie just screams “Nolan darkness”!!!!

  25. There was no soul to Legacy. Every actor in that movie was lifeless (especially Jeff Bridges’ plastic young man look, that was particularly appalling). The audience was never invited to really care about any of the characters, it’s as if the script writers just went “meh, the fanboys won’t care if there is no arch to anyone onscreen” and just ‘went with it’. I’ve said this before but what was hilarious was how muted the soundtrack was and people still rave about it. They never let the music open up and take over even once throughout the whole film. I was so utterly disappointing in this film in every aspect, besides the color schemes. Lifeless. Void of meaning. Boring. Dull. Please oh makers of cinema, fix everything about this threequel if you expect me to pay for another go around.

  26. I actually like Tron Legacy, and saw the original Tron in Leicester Square (I was so bored I wanted to walk out of the cinema).

    But no one ever says how the new film is a beat by beat copy of the original. Starts off in real world, hero gets sucked into digital world, caught as renegade program, put into games, wins the first frisbee game, catches eye of villain who wants him to die in the games, light cycle race then escape, 20 minutes of exposition then taken to rogue program – gay Sheen (21st century sellout) / fat program (80′s belief in a good future), and then flying aboard a pretty cargo train before the end of level boss fight.

    Here’s an idea, impress me with an original story, that’ll help.

  27. Great article you’ve written, is this your first website blog or have you been doing this a while?

  28. Will there be some scenes between Sam and Quorra. If yes, then please let me know