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‘Tron 3’ Is Finally Cycling Into Production

Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn in Tron: Legacy

After about 13 years of uncertainty and fears of cancellation, Tron 3 is officially back in development. The news was recently confirmed when it was revealed that the sequel has found its director, writer, and leading man. Additionally, the film received an official title: Tron: Ares. The franchise first kicked off back in 1982 with the release of Disney’s Tron. The film follows Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a game developer who gets sucked into the digital world. He employs the help of a security program, Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), to escape the software and expose his colleague Ed Dillinger (David Warner) as a thief.

Upon its release, Tron was a moderate success. It performed well at the box office and receive largely positive reviews from critics. However, it didn’t receive quite as much hype and box office earnings as Disney had hoped, and for many years the studio had no plans to continue the franchise. Then, Tron started picking up traction: The film gained a cult following, with many fans hailing it as a groundbreaking film in terms of its sci-fi storyline and cutting-edge animation. A sequel, Tron: Legacy, was released in 2010 and received mixed reviews.

Initially, Disney began developing a third Tron film shortly after the release of Tron: Legacy, with stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde slated to return. However, the pair later revealed the sequel had been canceled. This claim was disputed by director Joseph Kosinski, who claimed the film was just on hold. From 2017 to 2022, there were promises that the film was still in development and would star Jared Leto. Still, an official confirmation remained oddly elusive. Now that we have a satisfying update on the film’s development, here’s what we know about Tron: Ares.

Tron: Ares cast

Jared Leto on a red carpet.
(Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic)

So far, the only cast member confirmed for Tron: Ares is Jared Leto. As stated above, Leto was linked to the film as early as 2017. On January 19, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed his casting in Tron: Ares. Now that the film is officially back in development, many have been wondering if any of the franchise’s other stars will appear. While Hedlund and Wilde initially expressed interest in a Tron: Legacy sequel, neither has been tied to the franchise since 2015. Given how many years have passed, it’s difficult to say if the sequel will ultimately nab them to reprise their roles.

Tron: Ares director and writer

In addition to Leto’s casting, it was revealed that Tron: Ares has found a director and writer. Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski will not be returning to helm the sequel. Instead, Joachim Rønning is slated to take over as director. Rønning is a Norwegian filmmaker who has collaborated with Disney before, directing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Meanwhile, Jesse Wigutow, known for The Prince and the long-developing and highly cursed reboot of The Crow, has been tapped to write the film’s screenplay.

Tron: Ares plot

Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund in Tron (2010)

So far, plot details for Tron: Ares have not yet been released. However, we do know that it’s a sequel to Tron: Legacy, so it may further explore some ideas from that film. In particular, it could examine the concept of computer programs becoming human and transitioning to the real world. This was a plot point in Tron: Legacy, in which Quorra (Wilde), an isomorphic algorithm, manages to escape the Grid and live as a human with Sam (Hedlund). In Quorra’s case, the outcome was touching—she got to live as a human and witness her first sunrise with Sam. However, it is easy to see how the ability of computer programs to cross over into the real world could become dangerous.

Another major plot point in Tron: Legacy was Sam’s decision to take over his father’s business, ENCOM. The sequel could also explore what the company has been developing under Sam’s guidance. Given that many years have passed, Tron: Ares could probably dredge up some interesting new developments, perhaps even a whole new virtual reality has come to life after Sam deactivated the Grid.

The only other hint we have of Tron: Ares‘ plot is its title. Fans of Greek mythology will know that Ares is the name of the Greek god of war. While we don’t know quite what—or who—Ares is in the new Tron film, the title likely references some new villain or perhaps a war-like conflict between the real and virtual world. Some have also speculated that Ares is the name of Leto’s character, potentially setting him up as the film’s lead antagonist.

(featured image: Disney)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.