TRON was a film that Disney was ready to turn into the next big franchise. Not only did they spend a pretty penny on the long-awaited sequel, TRON: Legacy, but they also spent money on the TV side of things for the ambitious serialized animated series TRON: Uprising. Sadly, TRON: Legacy didn’t do so well at the box office. It made $400 million, but with its $170 million budget, it wasn’t quite enough to justify a sequel. Similarly, TRON: Uprising sort of fizzled on TV despite its decent execution, and just like that, a potential franchise sort of came and went.
This hasn’t stopped conversations about a sequel from coming out every so often. While it wasn’t a massive hit, there was a loyal fanbase for the franchise who have been hungry for years at the prospect of a new TRON film. Speaking with Collider, TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski discussed the “frozen” threequel titled TRON: Ascension. Here’s what he had to say about the film and its progress.
“I guess I can say that TRON 3 is in cryogenic freeze. So, it’s there. 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.”
When Kosinski puts it that way, it’s difficult not to be a bit pessimistic about the whole prospect. He’s right. While the film was in production, Disney was (believe it or not) not the big behemoth it is now. Sure, it was still one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the world, but it didn’t have the franchises lined up like it does now. As such, there is little reason for them to work hard to create anymore of these franchises.
But what were the plans for this sequel? Kosinski continued:
“The movie was called, TRON: Ascension, I think that’s out there. 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.”
Sounds pretty interesting, but as Kosinski stated before, Disney is in the enviable place of not having enough weeks in the year to spread out their franchise film entries. If TRON: Ascension ever does happen, it seems destined to be some time down the line, when the film landscape has change. It’s not as though this is a new concept to the TRON franchise, as it took nearly thirty years for a sequel to be made to the first one. Perhaps it’s for the best. This will give time for the concept to marinate, and for the cinema scene to diversify a bit a way from blockbusters (though we’ll see if that’s really in the cards).
What do you think? Are you disappointed that we’ll not be getting another TRON film anytime soon, or have all the current wave of blockbusters already scratched that itch for you? Let us know in the comments down below!
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