Top Gun: Maverick director says Marvel and Star Wars killed Tron 3

Tron: Legacy
(Image credit: Disney Enterprises)

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski says Disney's acquisition of both Marvel and Star Wars may have been the reason behind Tron 3's cancellation.

In 2010, Kosinski directed Tron: Legacy, a direct sequel to Steven Lisberger's 1982 sci-fi action flick. The film, produced under Walt Disney Pictures, takes place twenty years after the events of Tron and stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, and Jeff Bridges in a reprisal of his original lead role. Though the sequel took in over $400 million at the global box office, a third installment was subsequently scrapped by Disney.

In an interview with Vulture, Kosinski says that he "got close" to making the movie but that Disney "pulled the plug on it" in 2015.

"I hadn't built anything, but I had the movie storyboarded and written," he confirmed. "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."

But there was a major shift in the industry by the time Kosinski entered pre-production.

"It was a different Disney by 2015. When I made Tron: Legacy, they didn't own Marvel; they didn't own Star Wars. We were the play for fantasy and science fiction," he explained. "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."

Kosinski expressed gratitude for the cancellation, saying that had he made ‘Tron: Ascension, he wouldn’t have made Only the Brave and the other films in his repertoire. 

"But remember, the first Tron’was not a hit when it came out. It’s a cult classic. And if Tron: Legacy's becoming the same thing, I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Fortunately for the filmmaker, Top Gun: Maverick, a direct sequel to 1986's Top Gun, has earned nearly $200 million at the box office in just six days of being released. As for Tron: Legacy, the film's cult status could end sparking a future sequel – but only time will tell.

For more, check out our list of the 30 best movies on Disney Plus or get up to date on the most exciting upcoming movies in 2022 and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.