The digital gladiatorial games will no longer take up space on anyone’s hard drive, as sources have confirmed that Disney has cancelled Tron 3. Although the film apparently never had been officially greenlighted, we’ve heard that it had been in development for several months. In fact, as recently as early April, reports had it that stars Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund were set to reprise their Tron: Legacy roles, with director Joseph Kosinski on board to direct.
While the reasons for the project’s cancellation haven’t been disclosed, the relatively soft landing for Tron: Legacy in 2010, and the tepid enthusiasm for the Tron series since then, likely contributed. Tron: Legacy brought in somewhat healthy revenues, making Kosinski among the highest-grossing first-time directors ever, but the film just wasn’t that profitable for Disney. Global earnings were just shy of $400 million, but Tron:Legacy had a roughly $180 million budget (and likely a similar amount was spent on marketing). Not the return Disney had hoped for on its attempt to relaunch the franchise after 28 years.
Further, in the years since Tron: Legacy hit theaters, Disney added Lucasfilm and the guaranteed cash cow of future Star Wars films to its empire, lessening the appeal of funding more Tron.