TRON: Legacy was meant to give rise to a new cash-cow for Walt Disney Pictures, but the 3D sequel failed to become as massive a hit as Mouse House execs would've liked. It still managed to net $400 million in tickets sales around the globe (on a $170 million budget), thus ensuring that TRON 3 could still happen... eventually.
Some six months have passed since Tron himself (actor Bruce Boxleitner) described a third installment as being a "done deal," and we've yet to hear any official word on the matter. While that hasn't changed, Boxleitner has since revised his previous prediction for when exactly the TRON threequel could begin filming.
I Am Rogue caught up with Boxleitner, and the actor (a fan-favorite for his parts in the TRON series and the TV show Babylon 5) confirmed that not only he is slated to reprise his dual roles as real-world programmer Alan Bradley and digital warrior Tron on the big screen, but that TRON 3 will indeed be a direct continuation of Legacy's narrative - seeing how (as Boxleitner puts it) "['TRON: Legacy] actually started the next movie and then went to black," teasing the future adventures of Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) and a newly-human Quorra (Olivia Wilde) in the real world.
As to the status of TRON 3 in general, Boxleitner offered the following:
"It's in the works. Anything could happen, but all I can say is, it's in its formative stages. [Joseph] Kosinski, who is slated for it, he's shooting another movie now, and then they'll get around to doing that. I think somewhere around 2014, maybe. I'm talking way out of school here, but they can't shoot me because I'm Tron."
That phrase "talking way out of school" should probably be translated as "this isn't at all official," but what Boxleitner is saying gels with everything else we've heard about TRON 3 to date. Kosinski is indeed currently busy working on his Oblivion comic book adaptation, but has reportedly been actively involved with developing the storyline for a third TRON flick (which is currently being scripted by Eight Below writer David DiGilio). As mentioned before, that planned plot for TRON 3 would pick up the narrative threads left dangling in Legacy, and possibly feature a new villain in the form of programming "genius" Edward Dillinger (Cillian Murphy).
Kosinski's sharp eye for snazzy visuals and technical skills helped Legacy overcome some weak storytelling, so as to offer solid style-over-substance entertainment; it's for that reason that his return on TRON 3 has long been a given, despite calls for a change-up in screenwriting personnel. Judging by its actions (or lack thereof), Disney seems to agree and isn't so eager to get the ball rolling on a new TRON movie that the studio would begin production before Kosinski becomes available again.
It's long been said that part of the reason Disney is so hesitant to press ahead full-speed on TRON 3 is because the company first wants to use the upcoming Disney XD cartoon series TRON: Uprising - which bridges the narrative gap between the original TRON and Legacy - as a litmus test for how much demand there really is for this sci-fi franchise to continue on.
Obviously, the reception for the TRON animated spinoff won't make or break the possibility of a third live-action TRON movie alone. In fact, so long as news for TRON 3 doesn't start to resemble the "news" for Ghostbusters 3 (ie. where all the updates essentially come from one person) it sounds as though there's a pretty good chance a third theatrical trip to "The Grid" may be on the menu after all.
We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of TRON 3 as the story develops.
Source: I Am Rogue
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