With the release of Disney’s Tron: Legacy on DVD and Blu-ray this week, there has been plenty of talk about the big budget sequel, its first-time director Joseph Kosinski, and the possibility of returning to the neon-lined world of The Grid.
After two years of hype by the Mouse House, the December 2010 release grossed $398 million worldwide and made Kosinski’s directorial debut the highest-grossing first film in history. Not too shabby considering the movie wasn’t especially strong out of the gate ($44M) and was met with mixed reactions from critics (49% on Rotten Tomatoes).
Despite spending roughly $320 million marketing and releasing the film, Disney has started to work on another sequel with Kosinski and original writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, according to Deadline.
Hopefully without spoiling it for anyone who is waiting for a rental, the 2010 movie ended on an ellipsis and the opportunity for a potential clash between the real and digital worlds of Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund). ”We laid enough groundwork in Legacy that there’s a lot of kind of jumping off points for additional places to go,” Kosinski told ComingSoon.
Whether or not there is an audience for more Tron remains to be seen, though. We can be sure Disney will take a hard look at financials before guaranteeing a green light, and their number crunchers will also have the benefit of measuring audience response to Tron: Uprising, an animated television series coming in Summer 2012 that bridges the gap between the 1982 original and Kosinski’s slick return to The Grid (like The Clone Wars).
Their continued faith in the young filmmaker (and vice versa) suggests no hard feelings between the studio and Kosinski, particulary after Disney unceremoniously dumped the director’s passion project, Horizons (formerly titled Oblivion). The film, snatched up by Disney in August 2010, is set on a bleak, post-apocalyptic Earth when civilization lives above the clouds and the surface is plagued by alien scavengers.
“It’s just outside the box of something that Disney can make right now, which we always knew,” Kosinski told the Playlist. “But I wanted to give it a shot with them, and we tried hard to make it work, but ultimately it was a square peg, round hole type thing. We couldn’t fit it inside the Disney box, and they didn’t want me to change it to fit inside that box because then it wouldn’t be the movie I wanted to make. So they were gracious enough to let me make it somewhere else.”
Universal has expressed an interest, among others, in scooping up the pieces, but this is the same studio that shut down Guillermo del Toro’s At the Mountains of Madness for its out-of-the-box edginess, R rating, and risky budget. Ironically, Tom Cruise, who was slated to lead Del Toro’s film, is interested in starring in Horizons, depending on where the project lands and the usual scheduling concerns.
Kosinski is also still attached to The Black Hole at Disney, a “re-imagining” of the 1979 sci-fi thriller about a lost spaceship hovering on the edge of a black hole. Strangely enough, Travis Beacham wrote a draft of the Disney redux and is the creative mind behind Del Toro’s new film, Pacific Rim. The project was originally intended as a priority for Rich Ross during the executive shuffle at the studio, but there has been little movement since Beacham’s draft and Kosinski’s attachment.