Disney’s plans for a third “Tron” movie just got big software update.
Garth Davis, who made his feature directing debut with 2016’s biographical drama “Lion,” has signed on to direct a new “Tron” movie for the studio, Variety has confirmed. The new film, however, will not be a direct sequel to 2010’s “Tron: Legacy” and 1982’s “Tron,” but chart its own path as a new installment in the franchise.
Jared Leto, who signed onto the project in 2017, is attached to star, as well as produce with Justin Springer and Emma Ludbrook. Jesse Wigutow wrote the latest version of the script, which remains in development at Disney; the project does not have a greenlight.
The original “Tron” was a box office disappointment when it opened in the summer of 1982, but its groundbreaking use of computer graphic imagery — to capture the story of a programmer (Jeff Bridges) who gets zapped inside a CPU mainframe — helped earn the film a cult following. In the 2000s, hungry for a new, lucrative franchise, Disney circled back to the property and began developing a sequel with Joseph Kosinski, then an unknown commercial director whose background in architecture design made him a strong fit for the purely virtual aesthetic baked into the “Tron” franchise.
With Kosinski, Disney took a cautious approach, having him first shoot a test reel with Bridges that was screened unannounced at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con; the wild reception to the footage helped land the movie a greenlight. The final film — starring Bridges in a dual role, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, and Michael Sheen — opened to mixed reviews and decent box office (with a $400 million global ticket sales). The movie has itself earned a cult following, in no small part due to the score by the iconic techno-pop duo Daft Punk, and Disney began developing a sequel with Hedlund and Wilde. But the studio ultimately pulled the plug in 2015.
Two years later, Leto signed on to star in a new “Tron” movie, but until Monday, there hadn’t been much forward momentum for the franchise. Davis has more directing experience under his belt than Kosinski did when he landed “Tron: Legacy”; after “Lion,” which won him the DGA award for best first-time director, Davis made the 2018 biblical epic “Mary Magdalene” with Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix. The new “Tron” installment would be his first major studio tentpole, and his first project driven by visual effects.
Deadline originally reported the news.