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TRON Legacy Director Considers Franchise’s Future

TRON Legacy has been in theaters for a handful of days now, and as a geek-driven franchise, the hardcore of hardcore fans are undoubtedly wondering what comes next.

It’s the nature of a big story like this: the adventure comes to a close, plot threads are intentionally left dangling and a whole new conversation springs up about where the story could go from here. Obviously no one on the inside is sharing any details, but director Joe Kosinski at least dropped a few tantalizing hints about the franchise’s future in an exclusive interview with Spinoff Online.

First comes the question of whether or not there will be a sequel at all. “I think the point of view of the studio is, obviously they want TRON Legacy to be a success,” Kosinski told Spinoff Online. “And at that point we’ll start looking at if and how the story can be continued. We’re certainly not taking anything for granted at this point.”

No surprises there. Reports have suggested that the studio has even gone as far as developing story ideas for sequels, but Hollywood is a world of red lights and green lights. Until a sequel is greenlit – and that’s likely not going to happen until the film has proven itself at the box office – any development on future expansions exists in the idea stage only. All that said, there are several threads that Kosinski hopes the franchise will get to explore moving forward.

Those who have seen TRON Legacy — and for those who haven’t, we’re officially in spoilers mode for the rest of this article — may have noticed a brief yet noteworthy cameo from Cillian Murphy during the first act. More than just a cameo, Murphy took the role of Ed Dillinger Jr., the son of the first film’s human villain. He just appears in that one scene, but fans are good at drawing conclusions and the obvious one here is that we haven’t seen the last of the Dillinger clan in the TRON franchise.

Kosinski admits that his main reason for including Dillinger Jr. was as a nod to the 1982 classic. “For the fans of the first film, we all know there’s that Dillinger storyline that’s hanging out there and I don’t think we could have just completely ignored it,” he explained. “Even though it’s not the main story point of our film by any means, we all liked the idea of continuing the Dillinger legacy, [which] is only hinted at for the hardcore fans at this point.”

“The idea of Cillian in the role basically came out of me wanting [to work with him],” he continued. “I had been talking to Cillian about a role for him in a movie going back a couple years and we just couldn’t make the schedules work. Then finally we got this opportunity for the role of Ed Dillinger Jr. and I asked Cillian if he’d be interested in playing it, knowing that it basically amounted to a cameo. Nevertheless it felt like an important role in the TRON mythology; he was happy to do it and I’m glad he did.”

Of course, Dillinger Jr.’s inclusion isn’t just a nod to the fans; it’s also an open door, as Kosinski explained: “Obviously if we were lucky enough to go back to the world of TRON on another one, that’s a great, little branch that we’ve left ourselves to grab onto if we choose to.”

For those who have seen the movie (mentioned above, but once again: spoiler alert), you know that things end on a very open note. With one character in particular, his story concludes in a mystery: the Program TRON is very nearly killed, but we see him come back online as he sinks into the depths of the Sea of Simulation. Kosinski certainly hasn’t forgotten about the character. “I think the TRON character himself—again, not the primary story of our film, but definitely that storyline is in there — that would be another one that would be interesting for me to explore what’s become of him in the future.”

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Then again, the director looks to be busying himself with other projects now that his debut is in the bag. Among the projects he’s working on is another retro revival for Disney, a remake of the 1979 sci-fi flick The Black Hole. Kosinski is still in the early stages of development on that film, but he’s already got a clear grasp of how he will treat it and where he wants to take things.

“It’s more of a reimagining,” he revealed. “It’s not jumping off of the original narrative. It’s really, for me, the fundamental concept of what would it be like to take a journey through a black hole, knowing what we know about them today. We know so much more about them than they did in 1979. I’m really interested in taking a hard science approach, really exploring the phenomenon that surrounds these black holes. I’m excited about what you can do dramatically within that kind of incredible concept.”

“For that one, it’s really a total reimagining, a new story, but at the same time there are some of those iconic elements from the first that I want to bring back,” he continued. “So that’ll be an interesting one to kind of blend what I want to keep from the first one and how I want to take a completely new approach to the concept.”


  • Carriecromy

    There will not be a sequel so get use to that. Without making back their $300 million budget Tron Legacy 2 will never be made.

  • Jacob

    The budget was 170 million. The 300 number floating around is wrong. It’s made 73 million so far. It’s doing fine.

  • Mark

    170 million to make and approx 130 in advertising. It is a long way from making back what it cost but I do believe that a third Tron movie will be released. On a side note, I have been less than impressed with 3D releases thus far but Legacy was as close to perfection as I have seen. Some of the panoramic shots were breathtaking. Like the original Matrix, I am torn as to whether or not I want to see this franchise continue.

  • Bret

    I’d pay to see a Michael Bay version of Tron :) :)

  • Jacob

    I thought that the 3D was a waste in this movie. Or at least, not worth an additional $3.50. Only the action scenes were in 3D (which was kinda cool… i guess, not too much difference) and the color was desaturated…

  • Adam Rosenberg

    Between domestic and international box offices, I don’t think $300 million is any kind of stretch. A sequel, and probably a trilogy, is virtually guaranteed unless something unexpected occurs at the box office.You never know with these things, but I’d still bet money we haven’t seen the last of this story.

  • BradRzanka

    I’d wait until after the holiday season is over (including New Year’s eve/day) before coming to a conclusion on Tron’s future. This week and next are going to be the real indicators of its financial success or failure. It’s holding all of its IMAX screens through two major holidays, plus a two week school holiday in the States. Although I don’t predict anywhere near the same level of success for Tron, remember that Avatar’s opening weekend was considered “below expectations”.

  • Mark

    I went on cheap Tuesdays so the cost was only 8.75! Agree that the entire movie should have been in 3D not just certain scenes.

  • Anonymous

    There will be a sequel. This movie will pull down Avatar numbers, just watch. Alot of the fanboy adults are hating on it, but the kids LOVE this movie.

  • Al D.

    I liked the movie quite a lot but no Flynn/Clu would make it a lot less interesting to me. Flynn’s son was just kind of there. This is a 200 million dollar movie wrapped around Jeff Bridges as the actor with the most screentime, that’s what I dig about it so much.

  • Biznewb

    a michael bay tron would be terrible. just like a car on fire roll it off a cliff into a few barrels of gunpowder while a half naked chics stands at the edge and you have a bay film

  • Terry, yeah!

    Tron Legacy was fantsatic. I wish these nay sayer would stop saying nay,they’re ruining my Zen thing, man!