Disney Might Have Axed 'Tron 3,' But Why Would They Abandon The Successful Franchise?

Though the film was never officially confirmed, it was highly expected to be — but now, it looks we might not be seeing it at all. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is reportedly not moving forward with Tron 3 , the upcoming film set to be the third installment in the success science fiction franchise of the same name. For those unfamiliar with the series, the first Tron came out in 1982 and was a surprise critical success — so much so that it instantly became a cult classic that went on to inspire many filmmakers in the years to come. A commercially successful sequel, Tron: Legacy , came out in 2010, starring Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund, and Jeff Bridges (the latter of whom appeared in the original film). The third movie already had Wilde, Hedlund, and original director Joseph Kosinski lined up to return, and there had also been rumors that Jared Leto would be added to the cast — so, if these sources are true, why would Disney decide to give up on the project?

As of now, it's not really clear. The only thing that's apparent is that, despite the successes of the first two films, sources are telling THR that Disney decided not to make another movie in Tron's live-action futuristic computer grid world. While The Hollywood Reporter notes that Disney has had a lot of success with live-action films (meaning Tron 3 may have had a shot at box office success), I have to wonder — if these rumors are true and Disney did axe the project, was it was the futuristic sci-fi aspect of the film that they were worried about?

Case-in-point: Tomorrowland, Disney's most recent live-action film about travel to a futuristic dimension, was released earlier this May to very disappointing box office numbers and poor reviews. The last similar live-action science fiction movie released by Disney was John Carter, which also did not exactly make a splash. Could it be that these box office disappointments led to this reported death of Tron 3?

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Of course, this is purely speculative — since the film was never officially confirmed (and its axe is still only confirmed by unnamed Disney executives, not the studio itself), there could have been other behind-the-scenes issues going on that we don't know about. After all, according to Variety , one Disney executive reportedly put it this way: "We had never greenlit the movie, but it was in development for some time... Things in the queue got ahead of it and we have such a big slate out in front of it, we started to think, ‘Where does it go?’ And it’s a pretty big investment to make if you are not even sure when you are going to release it."

Either way — this is majorly sad news for fans.

Tron/Tron: Legacy rewatch party, anyone?

Image: Disney; Giphy