Just a few months ago, casting reports for the next installment of the TRON franchise were making the rounds online, and shooting on the third film in the series was expected to begin this fall. A lot can change in a matter of weeks, though, and a new report now indicates that Walt Disney Pictures has canceled production on the follow-up to 2010’s TRON: Legacy.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has decided not to move forward with another TRON movie at the moment, possibly owing to an already full calendar for the next few years. Between a long list of Marvel Studios movies, animated features, and more live-action versions of its cartoon classics (including The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, among others), there wasn’t an obvious place in the production or release schedule to squeeze another TRON into.
While the report adds that the sequel to TRON: Legacy was never officially green-lit by the studio, Legacy director Joseph Kosinski and stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde were all reportedly attached to return for another installment of the series as recently as April. The report adds that Kosinski was hoping to bring in Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto for a role in the new film, too.
The box office performance of TRON: Legacy may have also contributed to the studio’s hesitation to commit to another film in the franchise. While the 2010 film eventually earned more than $400 million worldwide, its box-office tally in the U.S. barely covered its $170 million production budget. Given that films’ budgets tend to rise with each sequel, the studio may have been understandably concerned about the return on investment that another TRON movie could provide.
It’s uncertain how far along the third film in the TRON franchise was in its development cycle when Disney pulled the plug, as nothing official had been confirmed regarding any of the cast or creative team. Filming was expected to begin in Vancouver, British Columbia, later this year.