Tron: Legacy was a really big deal seven (!!!) years ago. It had been more than twenty years since the beloved video game-inspired original movie, and fans were excited to see director Joseph Kosinski's CGI-heavy vision for the world of Tron. Well, the movie did alright, making about $400M but costing a hefty $170M. While some clamored for a sequel, Disney seemed reluctant. They eventually began development on Tron: Ascension, but following the lousy returns on Tomorrowland they scrapped it altogether. But is a third Tron truly dead?
Collider hosted a special screening of Tron: Legacy with Kosinski in attendance, and he says the film is in "cryogenic freeze" waiting for just the right moment to re-emerge...
"It’s not dead. It’s alive, but it’s sitting there, waiting for the right time to move forward. I mean, you have to remember that when we made ‘TRON: Legacy,’ Disney did not own Marvel. Disney did not own Lucasfilm…they own everything now. But this was before they owned everything, so from the studio point of view, they have a certain number of slots and a certain amount of money to make movies and if you can make a Star Wars spinoff or another Marvel movie, which are all doing incredibly well, a TRON movie, even though I think it would do very well, the question is: Would it do as well as one of those? That is more the reason we haven’t seen another TRON is that Disney stock is flushed with really successful properties right now. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see one at one point.”
He also went on to offer some plot details for what might have been, and the plan is certainly ambitious, but probably too big for Disney to invest a huge chunk of money into...
“I think we got the script to about 80%. We were in good shape. We were probably eight or nine months out, which is still a good amount of distance from being ready to shoot it, but I think the script was in good shape. What I’m excited about is the concept, which is an invasion movie from inside the machine coming out as opposed to one we’ve usually seen. So we hinted at that at the end of Legacy with Quorra coming out, but the idea for Ascension was a movie that was, the first act was in the real world, the second act was in the world of TRON, or multiple worlds of TRON, and the third act was totally in the real world. And I think that really opens up, blows open the concept of TRON in a way that would be thrilling to see on screen. But there’s also a really interesting character study in Quorra and a ‘Stranger in a Strange Land,’ trying to figure out where she belongs having lived in the real world for a few years, and where does she fit in.”
Certainly that would have been something to see, and maybe in another twenty years Disney will give Kosinski a shot.