Now we will never know if Flynn really (still) lives. Barely two months since it seemed almost guaranteed that there will be a third film from the geek favorite TRON franchise, Disney suddenly pulls the rug from under it, at least according to anonymous sources. Just as TRON 3, for lack of a better way to call it, has never really been official, it is now also unofficially dead. And while no definite reason has been handed out, some fingers are being pointed in the direction of Disney’s most recent sci-fi flick, Tomorrowland.
Admittedly, TRON: Legacy was quite a gamble that reaped millions of dollars in reward. The original TRON was 1982 film that gained a cult following, but not exactly in mainstream media. Back then, it appealed to the imaginations sparked by the then nascent gaming industry, particularly the arcade culture of the 80s. Revisiting that world in an age of high-speed Internet, smartphones, and virtual reality wasn’t exactly a formula for success, but Disney took a risk in 2010 to appeal to a now expanding geek culture.
It paid off, definitely. Legacy grossed $400 million across the globe while it took only $170 million to produce. Tie-in products, like the TRON: Revolution game and the TRON: Uprising animated series were equally well-received. Legacy itself sparked a new breed of design concepts, products, and accessories inspired by the art style of the recent film. With the world’s resuscitated obsession with comics and superheroes, it seemed almost ripe for a sequel, especially considering how Legacy ended with something of a cliffhanger. Indeed, it seemed that TRON 3 production was slated to go full swing by October, with most of the actors reprising their roles.
It seems, however, that Disney might not be fully convinced that TRON 3 would be a hit this time around. Indeed, not all its live action films have garnered critical acclaim. To be more exact, the elephant in the room seems to be Tomorrowland, sci-fi film that is still getting rather polarized reviews. Whether people like it or not, however, might be moot in face of the figures. The $180 million film has so far earned less than $40 million in the US. Global figures aren’t in yet.
Sources say that TRON 3 was never greenlit anyway, so technically there’s no cancellation to speak off. And with Disney having a full plate of live action movies, including adaptation of more mass market titles like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, TRON 3 might be pushed to the backburner, hopefully only temporarily.