Fans had to wait 28 years to see Jeff Bridges grace the
grid screen once again as Kevin Flynn aka Clu in TRON: Legacy but it'll be a significantly shorter wait for Disney to bring TRON 3 to the silver screen. Despite mediocre reviews, the 3D sequel earned over $400 million and so it wasn't surprising to see TRON 3 teaser trailers added to the TRON: Legacy home video releases.
Always thinking in terms of branding and franchising, Disney had people at work on a story for TRON 3 months before Legacy even hit theaters. Back in April, director Joe Kosinski talked about some of those story ideas they had for the TRON: Legacy sequel and not long after, David DiGilio was brought in to pen the TRON 3 screenplay. As for the illusive "greenlight" and whether or not the cast will return, star Bruce Boxleitner aka Tron says it's a done deal - His words.
Disney showcased TRON: Legacy three years straight at San Diego Comic-Con and during one of those three years, I had a chance to chat with Bruce Boxleitner who was ecstatic that he had the opportunity to return to that franchise after nearly three decades. It was there, inside of Flynn's Arcade, where I raised the obligatory question of another sequel, a third installment, to which he smiled and replied, "wouldn't that be nice."
That was last summer and since then, the film made its run in theaters and is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. According to present-day Boxleitner, TRON 3 is more than just a "nice" thought now, but a certainty. During signings at Disney's D23 event last week, a fan asked about his interest in returning for TRON 3 to which Bruce confidently replied:
"Oh, it's already a done deal. It's already in the works, my friend."
And there you have it: More confirmation on what we already know. Although marketing expenses and a lengthy development schedule kept costs high for TRON: Legacy, it's a brand Disney is not giving up on; It's profitable and now it's recognizable again. With processes and digital assets already created and refined, a sequel should be much more feasible and we can expect the entire cast to return.
Boxleitner continued, explaining that we can expect to see him back as Alan Bradley and/or Tron in 2013.
As for the story of TRON 3, by all accounts the film will pick up right where Legacy left off with Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) together in the real world. According to the teasers, there's a good chance we'll see a few more connections made to the original TRON, with actors such as Dan Shor and David Warner potentially (and hopefully) returning to their roles of Ram and Ed Dillinger, respectively. Dillinger of course, was the villain of the first film and his son, Dillinger Jr., had a cameo in TRON: Legacy, played by Cillian Murphy, who many fans would like to see return as the villain of the next movie.
Expect official word on the next TRON movie around the time they start building hype for the TRON: Uprising animated a series next year, where Boxleitner will again provide the voice and likeness of the title character, Tron, joined by an all-star cast including Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, Paul Reubens and Lance Henriksen.
TRON 3 will likely release in the fall of 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @ rob_keyes.
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