Sequels, prequels, reboots and remakes are the tools of the trade when it comes to the mystical wheelhouse that is Hollywood, and the "Tron" franchise is no exception.
As the Jeff Bridges science fiction epic remains one of the most iconic movies of the 1980s — a piece of computerized, digitized dystopian goodness that still holds up to this day — it's easy to understand why the notion of a "Tron" sequel seemed so alarming at first. Thankfully, early images, the official trailer and cast testimonials indicate that "Tron Legacy" has the potential to live up to the original.
In fact, Disney is so confident in the sequel that they're already making moves to continue the franchise.
Heat Vision reports that "Tron Legacy" co-writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have been tapped to pen a sequel, a decision made well in advance of the planned December theatrical debut for "Legacy." Clearly, it's a vote of confidence on Disney's part. The studio is enthusiastic enough over "Tron Legacy" that they're willing to get production moving on a sequel with nary a peep from critics nor a dollar spent by moviegoers.
It's surely a bold move, but is it a wise one? The decision to green light a "Tron Legacy" sequel this early is enough to get a fan all kinds of giddy, but at the same time, such an early decision sets expectations for "Tron Legacy" dangerously high. What if the movie isn't great — what if it's just pretty good? What could have been embraced as a solid B+ sequel might go down a few grades thanks to unrealistic standards set by Disney's preemptive decision to go forth with a third "Tron."
That said, there's a lot to admire about Disney going public with the announcement. How many other major Hollywood movies are coming out this year that also have sequels in development? Quite a lot, I'd imagine — we just don't know about them yet. Look at the recent "Spider-Man" debacle, for example. Director Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire were working with Sony on a fourth entry into the Marvel Comics franchise all while James Vanderbilt was busy penning fifth and sixth installments intended to reboot the property. It's a studio fail safe switch, and in the case of "Spider-Man 4," it worked out in Sony's favor.
In short, plans for a third "Tron" installment are inevitable. That doesn't mean a third movie will get made — certainly not if "Tron Legacy" proves to be a financial and critical disaster, though all signs are pointing to the opposite at this point — but if you're a Disney decision maker, it's best to keep your ducks in a row just in case you have an "Avatar" on your hands.
As they say, it's always better to be safe than sorry — particularly where light cycles are concerned.
Do you think announcing a "Tron Legacy" sequel well in advance of the movie's release is a wise idea? Can you think of any other franchises that this has happened with? Sound off in the comments section and on Twitter!