TRON: Legacy grossed only $400 million on a reported $170 million budget and didn’t sell a lot of toys either, which left plans of a third TRON movie — tentatively titled TRON: Ascension — up in the air. Back in 2011 when we interviewed director Joseph Kosinski, he said TRON 3 would move forward “if we can come up with the right story and a good reason to return.” A year later it was reported Garrett Hedlund was signed to return, and then Olivia Wilde was reportedly attached as of two years ago. Then things progressed quickly after Wilde got involved, with rumors the film would start shooting by late 2015. Queue the whomp whomp horn, because Disney pulled the plug, and now we know why.
TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski attended a screening of the film for Collider, where he explained during a Q&A that TRON 3 isn’t dead, rather it’s in “cryogenic freeze […] waiting for the right time to move forward.” The reason Disney delayed it, he explains, is that they had just bought Marvel and Lucasfilm, at which point the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars movies became a more urgent priority than TRON. Sure, TRON 3 would probably turn a modest profit, but it would never be Star Wars money.
Kosinski also explained the plot of their TRON 3 script, telling Collider: