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Top Gun 2 Director Reveals How Marvel and Star Wars Killed His Tron 3 Project


With the new box-office success of Top Gun: Maverick, director Joseph Kosinski is facing an extraordinary amount of press focus along with promotional tours and interviews. The director is known for his practice of picking out underground cult classics forgotten or discarded by the common mainstream public and reviving those movies in the form of sequels. Top Gun: Maverick was one such project, but it was not the only one. His directorial debut started with the revival of Tron, a sci-fi action movie that originally came out in 1982 and starred Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. However, his vision of pulling off a sequel to the sequel with a third Tron movie was snuffed out. Kosinski dives into an account of why the Tron 3 movie never went into production.

Tron 3 cancelled
A still from Tron: Legacy (2010)

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The Making of Tron 3

Kosinski is a visionary and an artist. To be able to recognize masterpieces lurking in the background, art that is now lost to the cultural change and influx of better CGI-governed industries is a talent worthy of acknowledgment. However, with only two notable successes under his belt at the time, Kosinski missed the chance for a go-ahead on Tron 3 when Disney captured the Star Wars franchise and Marvel projects under their wing in 2015.

Joseph Kosinski
Joseph Kosinski on the set of Tron: Legacy with Olivia Wilde and Jeff Bridges

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The director talks about how the Tron 3 script was almost complete and ready to go when Disney pulled the plug on it. His idea for Tron: Ascension was to make a gravitational change to the core skeleton structure of Tron and Tron: Legacy. The third installment would have focused outside the video game world and instead of the real world encroaching into the virtual, the audience would now see an overlap between the two as both worlds encroached on each other. Kosinski called it a “blending of the two”.

How Marvel and Star Wars Snuffed Out Tron 3

The Disney undertaking of Star Wars and Marvel shifted the primary focus of the streaming platform into superhero and sci-fi action-adventure genres. Disney was until then a stand-out platform for lesser-known cult classics like Tron but was now overrun by movies that were defined by CGI and action.

Tron (1982)
Tron (1982)

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Kosinski said in an interview with Vulture, “It was a different Disney by 2015. When I made ‘Tron: Legacy,’ they didn’t own Marvel; they didn’t own Star Wars. We were the play for fantasy and science fiction. And once you’ve got those other things under your umbrella, it makes sense that you’re going to put your money into a known property and not the weird art student with black fingernails in the corner — that was ‘Tron.’ And that’s okay.”

However, a look at the brighter side of things assured him that if he had undertaken the Tron 3 project, he wouldn’t have made Only The Brave and the later movies he invested so much in.

Tron 3: Jared Leto
Jared Leto is rumored to star in Tron 3

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On another note, Jared Leto, during his Morbius press tour, however, kept the hopes of a Tron revival alive. He said the creators of Tron at Disney are working hard on the project and that they are really close to having something conclusive. Disney has yet to confirm the rumors.

Written by Diya Majumdar

It's 2023 and Diya Majumdar's social life is defined by a 365-day binge-marathon of films and television shows. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, she now has more than 1000 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, and hardly anything fascinates her more than painting exact replicas of all their troubled works – in oil, of course.