We might get a new Tron film after all: A decade after Joseph Kosinski rebooted the franchise with Tron: Legacy, Disney is reportedly rebooting efforts to film a new installment of the science fiction franchise.
The first Tron hit theaters in 1982, directed by Steven Lisberger, and starring Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, a video game programmer who accidentally gets sucked into his own computer system, where he discovers a vibrant and oppressive digital world. The movie was well received and represented some major technical advances when it came to special effects, but underwhelmed at the box office, and for years, it was regarded as a cult classic.
That changed in 2010, when Disney decided to reboot the franchise with Kosinski’s Tron: Legacy. That film was a direct sequel set in real-time, following Flynn’s son, Sam (played by Garrett Hedlund), who gets transported into the computer system while searching for his father, who went missing years earlier. He encounters a new program Quorra (played by Olivia Wilde) who are trying to protect his father from an oppressive program called Clu (Bridges), and his hench…program Rinzler (Bruce Boxleitner).
Following Tron: Legacy‘s release, Disney also commissioned a TV series, Tron: Uprising, which was set between the two films, and which starred Elijah Wood as Beck, a program who’s trying to lead a revolution against Clu.
The two new installments of the franchise were short-lived: Uprising only lasted a year, and Legacy underwhelmed at the box office. While Disney teased that a third installment, Tron: Ascension, was in the works and officially put into development, it never materialized and was officially shut down following Tomorrowland‘s bomb at the box office in 2015. (io9 has a great timeline of all developments).
With the launch of Disney+ last year, Disney had considered rebooting the franchise with 12 Years A Slave screenwriter John Ridley, but ultimately scrapped that project.
Now, Disney is apparently trying again, according to The DisInsider, which says that a reboot with Leto is once again in the works, and that it’s “expected to be more of Tron sequel rather than a reboot, and the cast from Tron: Legacy could return,” although it’s not clear if it’s the same story as Ascension. Supporting that news, DisInsider says, is a mention from Disney’s President of Music & Soundtracks, Mitchell Leib, who told the Light the Fuse Podcast that he’d been speaking with electronic music outfit Daft Punk about returning to handle the soundtrack. It’s not immediately clear if this project—if it happens—is destined for Disney+ as a film or series or a theatrical release.
In recent years, Disney has been looking at some of its franchises with an eye towards bringing them back as feature films or as projects for Disney+ (like Willow) and Tron feels like an ideal body of work to try and attempt a resurrection. It has a considerable backstory to it, and Legacy and Uprising certainly highlighted the potential that exists for future stories. But it’s certainly early days for the project—and Tron 3 already has a long history of starts and stops.