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Will We Ever Get a ‘Tron: Legacy’ Sequel?

Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund in Tron (2010)

The Tron franchise first kicked off in 1982, with the release of the Disney science-fiction adventure film written and directed by Steven Lisberger. Tron follows computer engineer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who seeks to hack into his company’s computer system after discovering that an executive, Ed Dillinger (David Warner), has stolen his work. However, he ends up being sucked into a digital world, known as the Grid, where he enlists the help of Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) to fight against Dillinger’s computer likeness and the Master Control program.

Upon its release, Tron received mixed-to-positive reviews. It certainly made history for being one of the earliest films to utilize extensive CGI. The visuals and acting performances in the film are phenomenal, though the jumbled script is a bit hard to follow. Despite its less than stellar reception, the film went on to gain a cult following and Tron became a media franchise with comic books, video games, and a Disney XD animated series.

In 2010, 28 years after Tron premiered, a sequel was released. Tron: Legacy follows Flynn (Bridges)’s adult son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), who has been haunted by his father’s disappearance. A mysterious signal draws him into the Grid, where he is reunited with his father, who has been stuck there for years. With help from the isomorphic algorithm Quorra (Olivia Wilde), Sam and Flynn try to escape. Tron: Legacy fared similar to its predecessor; it received mixed reviews upon opening, but later gained a significant following. What lies in the franchise’s future?

Tron 3 moving forward with Jared Leto

Jared Leto attends the 11th Annual LACMA Art + Film Gala at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in November 2022.
(Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic)

After years of silence and uncertainty, Tron 3 is reportedly back in development and will star Jared Leto. Leto has been tied to the franchise since 2017, but updates were so few and far between that some worried the film had been canceled. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Joachim Rønning (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) is in talks to direct the film, which will be titled Tron: Ares. The sequel is being developed under Disney, just like its predecessors. No further details have been released, but it seems like Tron 3 is finally becoming a reality.

The long road to Tron 3

Prior to the release of Tron: Legacy, Lisberger revealed that a sequel to the film was already in development. By 2015, the film had been officially greenlit by Disney with Hedlund and Wilde returning. Within months of that confirmation, though, Disney decided to indefinitely pause work on the film. Meanwhile, both Wilde and Hedlund stated that the sequel had been scrapped. The decision was reportedly influenced by Tomorrowland‘s disappointing box office returns.

Two years later, director Joseph Kosinski revealed that the sequel wasn’t scrapped, but that production was merely paused. Meanwhile, Jared Leto was reportedly tapped to star in the film and also confirmed that there was work going on behind the scenes. Despite Leto hinting at forthcoming news, Disney didn’t issue a statement about the franchise. Updates petered out completely beginning in 2020.

With nothing being very official, there was a chance that the sequel could still be scrapped again. However, there remained hope that at least some progress was being made on the film. After all, the first sequel came out nearly 28 years after the original, so it was certainly still possible for Tron 3 to become a reality. That hope has seemingly paid off with the latest update.

(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.