Disney is going back to the grid.
After multiple false starts, the studio is back on track for a third “Tron” movie, with Jared Leto attached to star and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” director Joachim Rønning in talks to helm. Nominally titled “Tron: Ares,” the film would follow the groundbreaking 1982 film “Tron” starring Jeff Bridges, and the 2010 sequel “Tron: Legacy,” which starred Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde and was the feature directing debut of “Top Gun: Maverick” filmmaker Joseph Kosinski.
Leto first plugged into a third “Tron” movie in 2017 as the star and a producer, and he’s remained attached ever since. Garth Davis (“Lion”) signed on to helm the movie in 2020, but he ultimately parted ways with the project. Jesse Wigutow remains the film’s screenwriter, and Justin Springer, Jeffrey Silver and Emma Ludbrook are also producing.
A spokesperson for Disney had no comment.
Rønning has experience with sustaining Disney’s live-action film franchises. After launching his career in 2012 with the Oscar-nominated nautical adventure “Kon-Tiki,” the Norwegian filmmaker was tapped by Disney to direct the most recent “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, 2017’s “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” immediately followed by 2019’s “Maleficent” sequel. He recently wrapped production on “Young Woman and the Sea,” a biopic about Gertrude Ederle (Daisy Ridley), the first woman to swim across the English Channel. The film is set to debut on Disney+ this year.
Last year, Kosinski told Vulture that he had written and storyboarded a “Tron: Legacy” sequel that would bring the digital world of the movies into the real world. He was ready to move forward by 2015, but by then, the studio’s priorities had shifted and the movie fell apart.
“When I made ‘Tron: Legacy,’ they didn’t own Marvel; they didn’t own ‘Star Wars,'” Kosinski said. “We were the play for fantasy and science fiction. And once you’ve got those other things under your umbrella, it makes sense that you’re going to put your money into a known property and not the weird art student with black fingernails in the corner — that was ‘Tron.’ And that’s okay.”
Deadline first reported the news about Rønning joining “Tron 3.”