Joseph Kosinski, director of TRON: Legacy chats about the TRON 3 that never was

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Joseph Kosinski is currently riding high at the box office with Top Gun: Maverick, but he’s been reflecting on another legacy sequel: the follow up to 1982’s TRON.

Joseph Kosinski is having quite the moment. Top Gun: Maverick is thrilling audiences worldwide and gobbling up box office dollars. The filmmaker also has Spiderhead releasing shortly on Netflix, starring Chris Hemsworth and whilst it may only be a trailer, we’ve been impressed by the little glimpses we’ve seen thus far.

However, like all directors, things haven’t always gone Kosinski’s way. When he worked with Disney to release TRON: Legacy in 2010, the film didn’t do the kind of superhuman numbers that the studio was hoping for. Despite earning a hefty $400m from a reported $170m budget, a follow-up titled TRON: Ascension was oft-rumoured but never ground into motion.

Kosinski has been chatting about that part of his career, stating that “I got so close. I really tried. But 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.”

Whilst 2010’s TRON: Legacy is by no means a perfect film, it certainly laid the foundation for the surge of legacy films that would follow, embedding many of the key elements that movies such as The Force Awakens, Scream (2022), Kosinski’s own Top Gun: Maverick and many others would use.

Still, despite not receiving much in the way of acclaim, Kosinski is pretty sanguine about the whole affair, adding “had I made TRON: Ascension, I wouldn’t have made Only the Brave, and I wouldn’t have made the movies I made. But remember, the first TRON was not a hit when it came out. It’s a cult classic. And if TRON: Legacy’s becoming the same thing, I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Disney is reportedly still looking to get the next TRON film going but the last we heard, it won’t be Kosinski directing it. But at least the director himself seems happy with the legacy of his TRON movie.

Dark Horizons

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