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Tron 3 Updates: Why Disney's Taking So Long To Make A Sequel

Jared Leto in Tron 3

Is Tron 3 still in the works? The futuristic Disney series of films - which includes 1982's Tron and 2010's Tron: Legacy - would still be timely in 2019, where franchises like Black Mirror thrive as they ponder humanity's relationship to technology. However, the updates we do have on Tron 3 are somewhat disheartening.

Back in the early '80s, Disney released Tron, starring Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, a computer hacker who is transported into a digital world where he must compete in a series of gladiatorial games against the Master Control Program (MCP). Flynn's knowledge of computers comes in handy but he finds additional help in beating the MCP through Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), a security program. 2010's Tron: Legacy continued the story as Flynn's son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), goes in search of his father who disappeared shortly after the events of Tron. Sam finds himself in The Grid, which has been taken over by Flynn's Clu (also played by Bridges). Sam, Quorra, and Flynn fight back against Clu, attempting to all break free of the program and shut it down for good.

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Sounds like a great story to continue in a third movie, right? The following are all the updates reported over the better part of a decade since Tron: Legacy's release about Tron 3.

A Proper TRON: Legacy Was In The Works Until 2015

In the immediate wake of Tron: Legacy's release, there were reports of a third Tron movie. The worldwide box office gross of $400 million worldwide on an estimated $170 million budget wasn't exactly thrilling but not exactly damning evidence a third movie shouldn'happen. Tron: Legacy ended with a natural opening for a sequel as Sam and Quorra deactivated The Grid, rematerialized in the real world, and literally rode off into the sunset together.

The pieces started to fall into place in the five years following Tron: Legacy. Director Joseph Kosinski was game to direct and planned on expanding on Legacy's ending; screenwriter Jesse Wigutow was hired to script it in 2012; stars Hedlund and Wilde signed on in 2015; and a third title, Tron: Ascension, was already rumored as the official one.

However, Disney pulled the plug on Tron 3 in May 2015, just months before production was set to being in October. Reports say the studio never officially greenlit the project, also noting there was trepidation over some of Kosinski's production choices and another installment likely felt like a financial risk not worth taking.

Related: Disney's Upcoming Movie Releases - From 2019 to 2023

A TRON Reboot With Jared Leto Was Considered

Jared Leto Tron reboot

Just a year after the third Tron movie was canceled, the occasional report bubbled up about the franchise continuing. Tron producer and former Disney development exec Brigham Taylor shared his hopes with Screen Rant in 2016 a third movie would still be made. By 2017 Jared Leto, once reportedly in talks for an undisclosed role in the now-canceled movie, was attached to a possible franchise reboot he would lead. Leto confirmed to Collider in October 2017 the reports from earlier in the year were true: he was in talks to continue the Tron franchise with him as the star. Since 2017, nothing new has materialized on the Leto-Tron front.

The TRON Franchise Could Continue

As of mid-2019, there has been no news about continuing with Tron 3, be it as a movie, animated series, live-action series, or other. Although plans lay dormant, this is a rich, interesting world which could be cultivated for a reboot, spinoff or other form of revival. The techno-futurism at Tron's heart mixed with the ethical dilemmas rooted deep in its foundations could certainly be mined for a new story to present to a new generation of viewers. Keep an eye on Tron; it ain't over yet.

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