Joseph Kosinski has quietly established himself as Hollywood’s top director of sequels that were 30 years in the making. The success of “Top Gun: Maverick” currently has him on top of the world, but it was not the first time he updated a 1980s classic for contemporary audiences. In 2010, Kosinski made his directorial debut with “Tron: Legacy,” Disney’s sequel to 1982’s “Tron.”
The film was polarizing, but its status among cinephiles has grown in recent years. Its dazzling special effects and unique creative choices (such as hiring Daft Punk to write the score), have turned the film into something of a cult classic. Kosinski’s planned sequel, “Tron: Ascension,” never materialized, but it has become a captivating “what if?” story for many fans of the film.
In a new interview with Vulture, Kosinski opened up about how close he came to making the threequel, and shared his thoughts on why the film never materialized.
“I got so close. I really tried. I got close in 2015, and Disney pulled the plug on it. I hadn’t built anything, but I had the whole movie storyboarded and written,” he said. “I was really excited because it was inverting the idea: It was all that stuff coming into our world, and it was about the blending of the two.”
He says that Disney’s increased reliance on franchises like “Star Wars” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is partially to blame for the sequel’s fate, because the entertainment giant chose to consolidate its blockbuster efforts and focus on high profile intellectual property.
“It was a different Disney by 2015,” he 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.’”
But while Kosinski is disappointed that the opportunity to make another “Tron” movie appears to be gone, he takes solace in the fact that such a unique movie was able to be made in the first place.
“To pitch to Disney at that time that we were going to make a $150 million movie with a first-time director, a first-time production designer, actors that had never been in a big movie before, and a score by a French electronic duo that did dance music and literally dressed up as robots,” he said. “I mean, I just can’t believe they said yes. I don’t think that movie would get made today.”
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