No Tron 3

1 06 2015

Apparently, the plug has been pulled on Tron 3, and that makes me a little sad. Why? Because I quite liked Tron: Legacy, and I have enjoyed the animated TV series as well. As a computer scientist, I find the Tron universe makes me think differently about how software could work (despite some flaws in the metaphors). I also like the feel of the universe, even if it isn’t one I would actually want to live in.

From a strictly business point of view, not making a 3rd Tron movie is no surprise. A recent Forbes article outlines the thinking behind that. Legacy didn’t do as well as expected, and it wasn’t the cultural hit Disney was hoping for. That, though, is unfortunate, because I actually think Tron: Legacy is a decent sequel to the original. But then, I didn’t see it in theatres.

Instead, I saw it as part of a two-movie marathon at home where I watched Tron first, then Tron: Legacy immediately afterward. The the new movie did a good job of preserving the general themes, the tone and style of the dialog, and the story, while updating the look and soundtrack considerably. I didn’t see the same problems that reviewers appeared to have because I wasn’t relying on a past viewing of the original (likely some years or even a decade before). I made sure Tron was fresh in my mind when I watched Legacy.

I have the same issue with the Star Wars prequels: so many comments made about the original 3 movies, and how they were better than the prequels, are at odds with reality. The dialog, the delivery of the same, and the storytelling wasn’t all that different. Watch all 6 Star Wars in a row, and, again, it’s incredible how similar the dialog and storylines actually are. But watch the first 3 using faulty memory of a movie watched years or decades before, and sure, the new ones come up short.

I think Tron: Legacy fell into that same trap. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see people go and watch them back-to-back, and realize that Legacy was better than they realized. Is there room for a 3rd story? Probably. The first didn’t really leave itself open for a sequel, but the writers for Legacy were able to create a backstory to make one possible. I could see a few different stories that could make a 3rd movie work as well.

However, for now, there won’t be a 3rd Tron movie. However, if a cult following develops from Legacy and the TV series, that may change. Never say never.

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