Nearly 20 years passed between the first and second Tron films and, at this rate, it may be the same between the second and third. Rumours began swirling in earnest today about the long-rumoured Tron 3, and while they may or may not actually be true, we’ve learned over the past decade not to get our hopes up.
Need more convincing? Here’s a brief history of Tron 3 not happening:
1982: Tron is released. It grosses $US33 ($47) million and despite its landmark effects and cult following, is largely considered a disappointment.
April 2010: Eight months before the release of Tron: Legacy, news breaks that the film’s writers, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, are working on another sequel.
December 2010: Tron: Legacy is released. It’s a moderate box office hit, grossing $US400 ($574) million worldwide off a budget of about $US170 ($244) million.
January 2011: Rumours swirl that Disney is “mere moments away” from announcing the third film, which would expand on Cillian Murphy’s cameo in Legacy.
June 2011: Tron 3 gets a new writer named David DiGilio.
August 2011: Tron himself, Bruce Boxleitner, says Tron 3 will be out in 2013.
May 2012: Kitsis and Horowitz say they’ve seen DiGilio’s first draft and really like it.
December 2012: Tron 3 is officially a go according to the Hollywood Reporter. Garrett Hedlund confirms it and new screenwriter Jesse Wigutow comes on board. This was, by far, the busiest time in the past decade in terms of Tron 3 news.
April 2013: Kosinski releases his follow up to Tron: Legacy, the unrelated Oblivion.
October 2013: Kitsis says everything is in place, the team is just waiting for Disney to give the green light.
March 2015: Almost two years later, rumours surface that Tron 3 will be shooting in the fall.
April 2015: Hedlund and Olivia Wilde are expected to reprise their Legacy roles in the film, which may now be called Tron: Ascension.
May 2015: Not so fast. Tron 3 is dead.
July 2015: The always-happy-to-talk-Tron Boxleitner says he’s done talking about Tron 3. He’s given up.
September 2015: Hedlund says the film is not totally dead.
June 2016: A Tron rollercoaster opens at Disneyland Shanghai.
August 2016: Producer Bringham Taylor still has hopes for a third movie, thanks in part to that rollercoaster.
March 2017: Kosinski agrees that the film isn’t totally dead just yet and details some of what it might be about.
Later that month, news breaks that Jared Leto is circling a new version of the film that would be more of a reboot.
April 2020: Three years pass. Nothing. Kosinski confirms the status quo that “There’s always been talk and murmuring of doing another and continuing the story.”
June 2020: Mitchell Leib, the president of music and soundtracks for Disney, says on the Light the Fuse podcast he’s had lunch with Paul Hahn, the producer for Daft Punk, to talk a little bit about them coming back for Tron 3. “We’re looking at making a sequel to Tron now, we’re looking at Tron 3,” he said. “We’ve got a great script, I mean a really phenomenal script that we’re very excited about. Whereas the timing wasn’t right to have done it years ago, I think we feel like the timing is right now, and I feel like we’ve learned a lot of lessons from that last movie.”
July 2020: Going off those quotes, which had largely gone unnoticed, Disney site the DisInsider reports that sources tell them Tron 3 with Jared Leto is still in development, is looking for a director, and is once again a sequel.
Gizmodo reached out to Disney to see if there was any new update or clarification on Leib’s quotes and will update this story if and when that happens. Suffice to say though, while it sounds very encouraging, you can see it’s probably best not to get too excited just yet.