The fan excitement surrounding TRON: Legacy had reached critical mass by the time the movie released, filled to the brim with stunning visuals and callbacks to the original TRON. Unfortunately, the movie was not as financially successful as Disney hoped, and the previously guaranteed sequel (alluded to in viral marketing) lost much of its momentum. Oh, how the times have changed.
Now that Alan Horn is running Disney Studios, his wishes to get TRON 3 rolling have produced immediate results. Director Joseph Kosinski is now providing details on upping the scale of the film and taking the series in a brand new direction.
Development on Legacy's sequel has accelerated exponentially in recent weeks, with 'Son of Flynn' Garrett Hedlund confirming his involvement and reports backing up Bruce Boxleitner's past comments of production beginning in 2014. Opening up to Collider, Kosinski provided an update on the script and articulated his hopes for what the sequel will make possible.
Kosinski mirrors many of our own feelings that the universe seen and explored in TRON: Legacy is just too good to let sit on a shelf. But apparently that wasn't always enough reason for Kosinski to return, as the story and direction Disney had planned was a major factor in his signing on for Tron 3:
"Well the only reason to go back for me and I think for anyone involved would be if we could do something truly spectacular. We’ve been talking about it for a couple years and there’s always been this idea, a big idea, in the back of my head that we’ve been talking about. The idea itself, the notion of what the next 'Tron' could be, is exciting enough that it would be worth going back to do it. Obviously we hinted some things at the end of 'Legacy,' it’s kind of there for people to see what that potential is. So we just want to make sure that we have a script that delivers on that promise on an epic scale.”
"Epic scale"- wise words to use in building excitement, since the action scenes and gladiator 'games' of Legacy, while entertaining, were relatively small-scale (dogfighting sequence aside). Apparently the script work by David DiGilio wasn't quite what Disney was looking for, meaning the pitch that earned Jess Wigutow the job (after writing the script for The Crow reboot) hit a bit closer to home.
The new story being put in place doesn't just have Kosinski's commitment, but has him drawing comparisons to one of the most beloved and respected sequels in movie history:
“I’ve said it would have to be our 'Empire Strikes Back' for me to come back and for me to pull the whole team back together. I think we do have that idea. We do have the idea that feels big and really blows the doors off this franchise. It’s hinted at promises of something for two movies now, for thirty years, so it’s time to deliver on that. But the script’s got to be at a level that makes it worth going back for, because it’s a lot of work to make a movie like this and it’s a multi-year project. So we’ve got our writer Jesse Wigutow on it right now writing, and fingers crossed if it all comes together, as we hope it will, there could be another 'Tron' in the next few years, and it’s going to be awesome.”
A story that delivers on "the promise" of TRON would likely be one focused on the growing interaction between humanity and digital creations at the very least, and a crossover between digital beings into our world at the most. Of course, the largest criticism aimed by many at Legacy was its separation from the digital realities of modern communication and networks entirely, and not dealing with the things the Internet now makes possible.
According to the time frame Kosinski has in mind, the next sequel to Legacy will be less likely to avoid it. A contemporary setting doesn't just mean catching up on what Sam Flynn (Hedlund) and Quorra (Olivia Wilde) have been up to, but brand new sets and environments for the worlds of blue and white light:
"It feels like we’re kind of real-time in step. So however much time has passed since 'Legacy' came out would also have transpired in the real world. So it will still be contemporary. So let’s say if the 'Tron' sequel comes out in 2015, then four or five years have passed since the last movie.
"I don’t want to say too much about it but the goal would not be to simply re-use. We’re not going to re-use the assets from 'Legacy,' that’s no fun. If we’re going to do to it we’re going to reinvent all over again and it’s going to be a whole new generation for reasons that are very story-driven. That’s all I can say."
As much as we'd like to speculate on what the 'new generation' of effects could be (Light Tanks!!!), it's far too early to tell. But if the filmmakers have high hopes for the visual splendor of the movie, what about the soundtrack?
Daft Punk was responsible for the sounds of The Grid (and one of the more memorable cameos we can think of), so should they expect to be receiving a phone call sometime soon?
"When it comes to building the team up for soundtrack they would absolutely be my first call. As to whether or not they would do it, it depends on what they’re doing at the time. They are very methodical in how they pick their next project, and they would only do it if they felt that they could dedicate themselves a hundred percent to that. I know they have another album coming out, I’m sure that’s going to be their next big project, which I assume is going to be followed by a massive tour. So, you know, hopefully if they’ve got the time and the creative willingness to dive back in."
The speed with which TRON 3 has gone from a hope to a reality will take fans some time to get accustomed to, and Kosinski's prerequisites for returning are encouraging for the more casual moviegoer. If nothing else, Disney and Kosinski appear to be in it for the long haul, and devoting years to making a sequel right is sure to win them plenty of supporters.
We'll keep you posted on TRON 3 development as more information is released.
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