TRON: Legacy has presented somewhat of a difficult situation for Disney. On the one hand, it did gross around $400 million worlwide, and generated loads of revenue from DVD/Blu-ray sales - not to mention, marketing tie-ins. On the other hand, the project is said to have cost around $300 million to make and advertise. Hence why TRON 3 has yet to be fast-tracked by the Mouse House.
Disney decided to begin moving forward with a Legacy sequel earlier this year and has now recruited a new screenwriter to pen another adventure in "The Grid" - even though Legacy co-writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis were said to have begun work on the TRON 3 screenplay over a year ago.
According to Heat Vision, Hororwitz and Kitsis were all set to return for TRON 3 - but are currently too busy with their upcoming fairy tale TV series, Once Upon a Time. So Disney has gone ahead and instead hired on screenwriter David Digilio, whose sole feature-length film writing credit to date was the company's 2006 survival drama, Eight Below. Digilio also recently sold a pitch for the post-apocalyptic TV series Last H.O.P.E. to Showtime.
Legacy director Joseph Kosinski previously talked up story details for TRON 3, suggesting that the film would pick up several of the narrative threads left dangling in the second TRON picture. However, he is not yet officially set to return for the threequel - and seeing how his comic book adaptation, Oblivion, is being actively developed, it's possible that Disney will hire another filmmaker to call the shots on a third TRON movie while Kosinski works on his new sci-fi project.
THR also speculates that part of the reason Disney is moving ahead so slowly with TRON 3 is so it can wait and see how popular its animated TRON: Uprising TV series turns out to be. While the success of the show shouldn't make or break the possibility of another live-action TRON movie being made, its failure would definitely give studio heads all the more reason to pause and reconsider just how much interest the general population has in the TRON universe.
Since so much time and effort (and, more importantly, money) has already been put into developing and structuring the practical sets, costumes, and technology needed to bring "The Grid" to life, TRON 3 would undoubtedly be a less expensive venture than TRON: Legacy was. So the promise of a cheaper-to-make third TRON movie should only help convince Disney officials that the project is a good idea.
Finally - Legacy may have been given an overall muted critical reception, but most people seem open to the idea of another TRON movie that improves on the narrative issues of the second installment - while also featuring more of the cutting-edge 3D visuals and effects that were on display in Legacy. So although TRON 3 is not yet guaranteed to become a reality, it's definitely still alive and kicking.
We'll keep you posted on the status of TRON 3 as more information is released.