First he came for the Joker, then he came for Blade Runner, now Jared Leto has his sights set on ruining Tron as the long-gestating Tron 3 sees a little development happening. The latest news is that Lion director Garth Davis is on board to direct the feature, which won’t be a direct sequel to 1982’s Tron and 2010’s Tron: Legacy. That means the new Tron will be, say it with me now, a soft reboot. (If it’s not a sequel or a remake, there’s only one other option.) A literal Tron 3 was in development a few years ago, when Leto’s name was first attached to the project, but Disney scrapped that. Now Davis is developing a new idea for the franchise, though there is no official greenlight yet. Good, that means there’s still time to recast.
The original Tron is a cult classic mainly because of its at-the-time cutting edge special effects, which now look laughably terrible, of course. 2010’s Tron: Legacy was able to make the computer world of “the Grid” look reasonably cool, but the movie didn’t really take off. Deadline generously calls it a “box office success”, but if it really was successful, there would be two sequels and a spin-off by now and Disney wouldn’t be struggling so hard with the direction of the new project. Tron has always been about style over substance, but we’re well used to spectacular-looking movies by now. They’re going to have to bring something more to the table this time, and given that the story foundation is so weak, there’s not much to work with.
The first movie benefitted from a wildly charismatic young Jeff Bridges, and the second movie had older Jeff Bridges AND Garrett Hedlund AND Olivia Wilde (whose screen charisma has always been underappreciated) AND a cool score from Daft Punk. This new movie has…Jared Leto. Hopefully, Garth Davis has a hell of an idea of what to do with a new Tron movie, because they’re going to need a lot more than lightbikes and Jared Leto to stand out in the crowded blockbuster landscape. That is, of course, assuming that the crowded blockbuster landscape doesn’t completely implode after the prolonged COVID shutdown.