Tron 3 is still in the works with Jared Leto on board, but production has stalled.
Tron: Legacy was profitable for Disney, profitable enough to justify making Tron 3, but just barely. On a $175 million budget, Tron: Legacy pulled in over $400 million. Not record-setting but not bad either. It wasn’t what Disney had hoped for, given that the Jeff Bridges original 1982 Tron was so beloved and had high fan interest, but it was good enough for Disney to begin work on Tron 3. They even brought in Jared Leto to lead the charge.
So, where are we with Tron 3? Is Leto still preparing for The Grid? Let’s see if we can answer some questions.
JARED LETO SAYS HE IS STILL WORKING ON TRON 3
After a long wait, in March 2022 Screen Rant managed to get an update on Tron 3 from Jared Leto while the actor was doing press for Morbius. Sadly, Leto didn’t offer a lot of solid info other than to say the project hasn’t been forgotten.
He told Screen Rant, “I’m a super fan of Tron, and we are working hard on Tron with our incredible partners at Disney. Just an amazing group of creative people. We’re getting closer. We’re getting closer and closer, and who knows? Something may be [coming] sooner than later.”
But that was back in March. Since that time, neither Leto nor Disney has offered any type of update concerning a possible Tron 3. The closest we have to any type of confirmation is the Tron 3 IMDB page, which still has Tron 3 as happening. In fact, Jared Leto is still attached to the project.
JARED LETO WILL PLAY ARES IN TRON 3
When it was announced that Jared Leto would be part of a new Tron movie, fans were curious as to who he would be playing. In Tron: Legacy, we had Garrett Hedlund playing Sam Flynn while Olivia Wilde was on board as Quorra. But fans didn’t have to wait long to find out just who Leto would be playing as it was also announced that he’d be a new character, Ares.
Ares, you may recall, was actually mentioned in Tron: Legacy as one of the resistance leaders. With Leto taking on that part, it appears the film may be centered on his character. Here is what Leto had to say about his casting in Tron 3.
“I’m struck with such gratitude for the opportunity to bring this movie to life, especially as both the original video game and the film affected me so deeply as a young child. The fact that I get to be a part of this new chapter is mind-blowing. I am so very excited and proud to confirm that YES – I will be starring in Tron. We will work as hard as we possibly can to create something that I hope you all will love. We have some very special ideas in store for you all.”
BEYOND LETO, NO OTHER CASTING DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE
With Jared Leto apparently still on board with Tron 3, it brings up the question of who else will be in the film. Both Hedlund and Wilde had been signed on for a sequel back in 2015, but Disney scrapped plans for that film, so their status is now up in the air.
Would we get some version of Jeff Bridges again? What about the original Tron, Bruce Boxleitner? Both stars of the original made an appearance in Tron: Legacy, would they be coming back for the third time? Unfortunately, there is no word on any actors joining Leto for Tron 3.
GARTH DAVIS IS DIRECTING
Garth Davis has been tapped to direct Tron 3. Davis’s credits include the TV series Love My Way, the TV series Top of the Lake, and the features Lion and Mary Magdalene. Davis was passionate about jumping onto the Grid and into the world of Tron and it was this passion that got him the director’s chair. Hopefully, his passion will translate onto the big screen.
David DiGilio wrote an earlier draft of Tron 3 but has since handed off the writing duties to Jesse Wigutow. Not only will Jared Leto appear as Ares, but he is also attached as a producer of the film. Emma Ludbrook and Justin Springer are also on board as producers. At this moment though, there is no release date for Tron 3, though IMDB does have 2025 as a target year for the film.
DAFT PUNK COULD RETURN FOR TRON 3
One of the best things about Tron: Legacy was its incredible soundtrack by Daft Punk. The techno music duo even briefly cameoed in the film. Bringing them back to do the soundtrack for Tron 3 should be a priority, and it seems Disney agrees.
Disney’s President of Music & Soundtracks Mitchell Leib said this on the Light the Fuse podcast about bringing back Daft Punk for Tron 3:
We’re in the big movie business, and unless it’s a big movie idea, we don’t make small movies. We’re only after basically billion-dollar box office hits…Daft Punk has a bit of a television and movie development company, and all kinds of things they’re into, businesses they’re into. So, I had lunch with Paul Hahn to further a bit of a starting conversation that we’re looking at making a sequel to Tron now, we’re looking at Tron 3. And we’ve got a great script, I mean a really phenomenal script that we’re very excited about. Whereas the timing wasn’t right to have done it years ago, I think we feel like the timing is right now, and I feel like we’ve learned a lot of lessons from that last movie.
Obviously, the soundtrack of Tron 3 is important to Disney. Leib continues, “The right and first thing to do is to try and bring Daft Punk, and would they want to. And the answer is they’re always open to anything and everything, but you gotta take it as it comes and see what the circumstances are.”
TRON: ASCENSION WAS THE ORIGINAL TITLE, BUT IT WAS SCRAPPED
For five years following the release of Legacy, Tron: Legacy 2 was on track. Joseph Kosinski (upcoming Top Gun: Maverick), director of Legacy, was set to return for the sci-fi movie sequel, Jesse Wigutow had been hired to write the script, both Heglund and Wilde had signed on to return, and at the time rumor was they had even decided on a title for Tron 3, Tron: Ascension.
But in 2015, the House of Mouse decided to pull the plug on Tron: Ascension. It was a tough call because it was only a few months before production was set to officially begin. It appeared all was lost for a third Tron film.
TRON BECAME A CULT CLASSIC IN THE 80s
Back in the early ‘80s, Walt Disney Productions came out with a then ground-breaking movie called Tron. The special effects-heavy film followed brilliant video game maker Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges, and two associates, Bruce Boxleitner (The Gambler, Kuffs) and Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack), as they are sucked into cyberspace in attempts to prove Flynn’s games are being plagiarized. Seems the Master Control Program (MCP) has become power-hungry and will stop at nothing to keep what it feels is his.
The movie was remarkable on many levels, most notably technical. Rumor had it back then that a second Tron was going to be made but it took nearly 20 years before the rumor became reality. And now here we are talking about Tron 3.
Tron: Legacy is the sequel that followed Kevin Flynn’s son Sam, played by Garrett Hedlund (Friday Night Lights, Mudbound), who is a primary shareholder at ENCOM, the computer company his father worked for before he was sucked into cyberspace. Jeff Bridges returned in his role as Kevin Flynn and also Clu, a more advanced version of Flynn’s original computer-hacking program, more powerful and deadly. Bruce Boxleitner also returned as Alan Bradley and Tron.
The sequel brought aboard Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) as Quorra, an iso algorithm that could fight, and Michael Sheen (Prodigal Son, Dolittle) as a flamboyant supermodel program who runs a club at the top of the tallest tower in the system called End of Line Club.