Tron 3: Ascension – What You Need to Know

A third Tron movie is Hollywood’s worst kept secret right now, but if you haven’t been keeping up with all of the rumors and reporting, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s everything we know about the sequel so far.

What’s it called?

There’s no official word from Disney yet, but Production Weekly reports that it’s being called Tron: Ascension.

What is it about?

We don’t know any specific plot details, we do have plenty of clues as to where a sequel might be heading. Our biggest source of ideas was a 10 minute short film called Tron: The Next Day that was released on the Blu-ray of Tron: Legacy.

The short was pretty interesting, not only because it featured new scenes set after the end of Legacy, but also because it linked that movie to the “Flynn Lives” viral promotional campaign that Disney ran. You can read a full breakdown of the 10 minutes here, but to keep things brief, there are three major plot points it reveals:

  • It re-introduces Roy Kelinberg, or Ram’s user from the original Tron. It turns out he was behind the Flynn Lives movement, which which attempted to fight back against Dillinger Systems’ takeover of ENCOM, in the wake of Kevin Flynn’s (Jeff Bridges’ character) disappearance.
  • It confirms that Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) has taken over his father’s spot on the ENCOM board of directors (on which Cillian Murphy’s character, Edward Dillinger Jr., is also a member).
  • Finally, a scene hidden on US Blu-ray release shows Dillinger Jr. text chatting with someone going by the handle “MCTRL_751”, likely referring to the Master Control Program from the first Tron. The unknown character even ends the conversation with the MCP’s trademark phrase, “End of Line.”

So what does that tell us? Assuming of course that Disney is still heading in the same general direction that they were before, it sounds like Cillian Murphy’s character will factor into things in a big way. That makes sense, considering he’s a fantastic actor that was cast for all of 10 seconds in Tron: Legacy.

Additionally, it sounds like Master Control is back, although in the short, Dillinger Jr. refers to him as “Dad.” Could Ed Dillinger Sr. be trapped in the Grid as the new MCP? Or is he just a little nutty these days, adopting the mannerisms of former partner-in-crime?

We’d also have to assume that Olivia Wilde will be back as Quorra, who became the first digital character to be transported to the physical world at the end of Legacy. You have to imagine that’s going to have huge, huge repercussions, and might even be the “Ascension” that the title is referring to.

Way back in 2013, Legacy director Joseph Kosinksi also had this to say about a potential sequel:

The fundamental idea of the movie is something I’m very excited about, it delivers on the ideas that we set up in Legacy, especially at the end in the last five minutes.

Who’s coming back?

Director Joseph Kosinski is making a return to the series after directing Legacy, and will be joined by Garret Hedlum as Sam Flynn, Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley, and Olivia Wilde as Quorra.

Outside of that, we don’t know who else is in it, but I would bet that Disney really made an effort to bring Cillian Murphy back as well.

Why haven’t we heard anything official about this?

As to why Disney has chosen to stay so quiet on this project, despite its existence being confirmed multiple reliable sources, is a mystery. My guess is that like Legacy, the studio is hoping for a big surprise reveal that will get fans buzzing about the series again. After all, it’s been over four years since Legacy came out, and practically no one is talking about it anymore.

This is pure, pure speculation, but D23 Expo in August or Comic-Con in July seem like pretty good venues for an announcement.

When is it coming out?

As far as a release date goes, we can only guess. We do know that the film will likely enter production in early October 2015, and will shoot through February 2016. Given that, a likely release window is probably no sooner than summer 2016.

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