While on the press circuit for Netflix’s Mudbound, Garrett Hedlund spoke to That Hashtag Show’s Daniel Jerome who asked about his level of involvement with Tron 3. Recently Jared Leto revisited his interest in appearing in the franchise and moving the new film forward. Hedlund didn’t confirm his return or that he’s been involved in any of the recent discussions, but he did imply that he would be open to returning for the 3rd film.
Daniel: Definitely understand. Well, speaking about fandoms and things that you’re in. Just heard that Tron is getting another one coming out and are you excited about [you know] reprising your role as Sam Flynn?
Garret: [you know] I’m a little, I know there’s been announcements or some [you know] people talking about certain things on it. I don’t know what the direction is. I’m sure it’s [you know] pretty far off. We almost had it greenlit a couple years ago and they had the ascension script that they were going to go with and, I think just with things going on with the financial stage of the industry at that time really just prevented it at the moment, and we’ll see what the future holds.
After Tron: Legacy released in 2010 and didn’t perform as well as the studio had hoped, it made $400mil worldwide, but only $172mil domestically, with a production budget of $170mil; so, not great. The film also suffered from underwhelming critic reviews, though the audience reviews were more favorable, the financial state of the industry caused quite a bit of pause for the studio.
Disney is now in a much different place. In addition to their original properties and the Pixar films, they also now own both Marvel and Lucasfilm. The films released under those brands are pretty much guaranteed hits, so revitalizing the Tron franchise isn’t exactly a top priority for them. Back in March Director Joseph Kosinski told Collider:
I guess I can say that TRON 3 is in cryogenic freeze. So, it’s there. It’s not dead. It’s alive, but it’s sitting there, waiting for the right time to move forward. I mean, you have to remember that when we made TRON: Legacy, Disney did not own Marvel. Disney did not own Lucasfilm…they own everything now. But this was before they owned everything, so from the studio point of view, they have a certain number of slots and a certain amount of money to make movies and if you can make a Star Wars spinoff or another Marvel movie, which are all doing incredibly well, a TRON movie, even though I think it would do very well, the question is: Would it do as well as one of those? That is more the reason we haven’t seen another TRON is that Disney stock is flushed with really successful properties right now. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see one at one point.
So, we’re pretty much in the same place now as we’ve been for the past 7 years, everyone involved is still interested in making a 3rd Tron film, but no one is quite sure when it is actually going to become a reality.