Earlier this week, we reported that TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski said a new TRON film was in “cryogenic freeze” because Disney was so rich with other tentpole features from Marvel and Lucasfilm. It wasn’t a matter of “never say never”, but the third TRON movie, TRON: Ascension, was stuck in development hell, which was a shame since it sounded interesting. Kosinski told us that it was an “invasion movie” that would take place in both the real world and The Grid.
But now it looks like Disney is still very much in the TRON business. THR reports that the studio is looking to reboot the franchise as a starring vehicle for Jared Leto. Leto is circling the project, and if he signs on, he would also produce alongside producing partner Emma Ludbrook as well as TRON: Legacy co-producer Justin Springer.
No screenwriter or director is currently involved, but Disney plans to use the script for TRON: Ascension as a starting point. Per THR, “Leto would play a character named Ares, who has not appeared on screen before but was a key player in that script.” It’s unknown of Kosinski or any actors from TRON: Legacy would return for the reboot.
It’s important to keep in mind that while TRON: Legacy struggled to be the worldwide phenomenon Disney wanted, it’s still a valuable IP for them. They also own it entirely, which means they don’t have to split profits like they do for something like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It seems like the studio believes that if they can just crack the story, people will come rushing into the film’s digital world.
That being said, I think they’re drastically overestimating people’s opinion of Leto if they think it can be a star vehicle for him. Dallas Buyers Club was supposed to be a restart for the actor’s career, but he drew negative reviews for his only movie he’s done since then, Suicide Squad. Perhaps he’ll have a more successful 2017 with roles in The Outsider and Blade Runner 2049, but it seems risky to hang the TRON franchise on his popularity.
In case you haven’t seen it, click here for our full interview with Kosinski following our IMAX screening of TRON: Legacy.