A TV series based on the 1982 Disney film Tron has recently been scrapped by Disney+, claims a new report by The Hollywood Reporter.
Screenwriter John Ridley, who won an Academy Award in 2013 for adapting 12 Years A Slave, is said to have been working on the show as part of his overall deal with the Disney-owned ABC Studios.
However the Tron spin-off, which was never officially green lit by the new streaming service (launching in the UK on 24 March), is said to have been “scrapped” after it “fell apart” following several months of work.
This will be bad news for fans of the sci-fi series that spawned several video games, comics, a movie sequel directed by Joseph Kosinski – Tron: Legacy – in 2010, and Tron: Uprising, an animated series that ran for one series in 2012 on Disney XD. A third Tron film has long been mooted with Legacy screenwriters Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis signed up to pen the screenplay.
It seemed to be close to start of production in April 2015 with Kosinski returning alongside Legacy stars Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund, and was scheduled to shoot in Vancouver that autumn, before Disney pulled the plug at the eleventh hour.
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Jared Leto was then linked with a Tron film very briefly in 2017, with the Oscar-winner set to star as a character called Ares in a film that wasn’t a direct sequel to Legacy.
The original film, starring Jeff Bridges, Cindy Morgan and Bruce Boxleitner, saw people being digitised into a computerised world inside a computer, where they battled with software to escape back into the real world. It was praised for its groundbreaking and distinctive visual effects, but its middling box office performance led to Disney writing off some of its $17 million production budget.
Bridges and Boxleitner returned for the sequel in 2010 which featured an original Daft Punk soundtrack. It received mixed reviews, and took $400 million at the global box office, which was not quite enough to immediately kick off more sequels.
What Ridley had planned for his Tron series, we may never know, but THR says outgoing Disney CEO Bob Iger has been tasked with focussing his efforts on improving the Disney+ development pipeline. It follows the cancellation of a number of high profile projects including Muppets Live Another Day and a Disney villains show Book of Enchantment.
Disney+ launches in the UK on 24 March.