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Disney finds a ‘Tron 3’ director for longtime star Jared Leto

Olivia Wilde plays Quorra in Tron: Legacy.
Olivia Wilde plays Quorra in Tron: Legacy. (Image credit: Walt Disney Studios)

Disney’s long-gestating follow-up to Tron: Legacy inched closer to becoming a reality this week when Deadline reported Monday that director Garth Davis (Lion) is in talks to direct Tron 3, or whatever the sequel ends up being called.

The trades announced plans for what was once tentatively called Tron: Destiny back in 2017 with Jared Leto in a lead role. Despite rumors and other incremental updates, little movement occurred on the project; Walt Disney Studios President of Music & Soundtracks Mitchell Leib confirmed in June 2020 that the studio was actively working on the film, which at that point indicated - or at least hoped - that both Tron: Legacy director Joe Kosinki and composers Daft Punk would return. Deadline reported that Davis “aggressively pursued” the job, despite his pedigree with art house projects like Mary Magdalene.

Adam Horovitz and Edward Kitsis (Lost) wrote Tron: Legacy, a reboot and update of the groundbreaking 1982 film by Steven Lisberger. In the original film, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is sucked into a computer by an all-knowing program called the MCP and forced to compete on a game grid against creations he himself wrote. In Legacy, Flynn’s son finds himself in a similar situation when an old colleague Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) contacts him with some cryptic new information about his father. Plans were in motion for more sequels even before the release of Legacy, but mixed critical response (and underwhelming worldwide box office receipts) stalled momentum; when a number of other projects greenlit by Sean Bailey, Disney’s new president of production, similarly failed to attract enough commercial attention, the studio put the franchise’ future on hold.

Jesse Wigutow wrote the latest credited draft of the third Tron film. Several iterations of the sequel have made news in the decade since Tron: Legacy, but if this news becomes official, that might provide the kickstart the project needs to get going. In the meantime, Disney XD broadcast 19 episodes of the animated series Tron: Uprising in 2012-13 that earned great reviews, and provided an additional foundation for expanding the mythology of what has become and increasingly intriguing science-fiction world. Regardless, the real mandate (other than using Daft Punk again, whose music was the lifeblood of Legacy) is to bring back Olivia Wilde as Quorra, whose combination of wholesome optimism and insurmountable toughness gave the second film a fresh, inventive energy.