There's no denying that Joseph Kosinski is a filmmaker who perceives the science-fiction genre as a useful means for exploring ideas about the human condition, be it the relationship between creator and creation that was examined in TRON: Legacy, the nature of romantic attraction (as dissected in Oblivion), and related concepts that have been touched upon in his directorial efforts to date.
Kosinki is currently involved in development on two sci-fi projects, each of which revolves around similarly thought-provoking ideas and themes. The first is a sequel to Legacy - we've been calling it TRON 3 since it would be the third installment in the TRON franchise - while the other is The Black Hole, which is a new take on the cult sci-fi title released by Disney back in 1979.
Previously, Kosinski expressed his desire for TRON 3 to take the TRON property to the next level of creative expression - when he said that he wants it to be "our 'Empire Strikes Back'" - and additionally mentioned that the film is going to pick up in real-time after the conclusion to Legacy. That might've seemed like a red flag to some people, as having TR3N take place some five to six years after Legacy could allow the film to skimp on addressing the questions and ideas raised by the previous film's conclusion - and there are definitely some major implications to the ending of Legacy (which ought to be explored in the new TRON installment).
Fear not, though, as Kosinski has revealed - in a recent interview with ET - that TRON 3 will tackle head-on the lingering questions and unresolved issues from the ending to Legacy:
"[TRON 3] - the TRON [Legacy] sequel - kind of takes where we left off in ‘Legacy’, that idea in the last few minutes of the film, and really expands on it in an exciting way."
TRON 3 should, in particular, focus on Olivia Wilde as Quorra, for reasons that go beyond the fact that the character is (spoiler?) the last surviving member of the "Isomorphic Algorithms" or ISOs (i.e. the species naturally-generated by "The Grid" rather than produced by the world's inventor Kevin Flynn). Indeed, the whole ISO concept would benefit from additional clarification, even before you take the final minutes from Legacy into consideration.
Garrett Hedlund is the only Legacy cast member to be (semi-)officially confirmed to return for TRON 3, but Wilde is expected to come back too and - when asked in past interviews - has agreed that the film should be more Quorra-centric. The current script draft is being developed by Jesse Wigutow (one of the screenwriters to have worked on The Crow reboot), but it's not yet apparent whether the original plan for TRON 3 - have Edward Dillinger Jr. (Cillian Murphy) serve as the main antagonist - is still in play.
Similarly, Jon Spaihts - best known for penning the original Prometheus script draft - is actively putting together a new script for Kosinski's Black Hole project. However, it remains unclear just how much material Spaihts will be carrying over from either the previous draft written by Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) or the original 1979 film.
Kosinski did shed some light on the similarities to the 1970s version, when ET asked him if he considers Black Hole to be a remake or reboot:
"I guess I would call it a reboot because the fundamental concept is there, but we are taking it in our own direction."
A few years back, Kosinski revealed that he had plans to approach Black Hole from a contemporary "hard science way," by incorporating the many advances in astrophysics and gains in understanding of how gravitational forces work made by the scientific community over the past three decades of research. Many of the sci-fi ideas featured in Spaihts' Alien: Engineers draft are modern, yet also quite allegorical in nature (similar to the concepts in Legacy), so there's a good chance that he and Kosinski will use a similar hard science (fiction) angle to update The Black Hole's themes.
Let us know how you feel about how TRON 3 is shaping up and whether you are more, less, or equally intrigued to see a modern-day hard science approach to The Black Hole premise (in the comments section, that is).
Oblivion will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 6th, 2013.
Screen Rant will keep you up-to-date on progress for TRON 3 and The Black Hole.