The Tron franchise has remained dormant since Joseph Kosinski resurrected the series with 2010's Tron: Legacy, but many fans have clamored for yet another installment in The Grid story. Tentative (but unconfirmed) plans for a third film starring Jared Leto (reportedly called Tron: Ascension) have previously been thrown around, and now it seems that the Joker actor almost entered the franchise in Legacy itself. In fact, Kosinksi opened up during the recent press junket for Only the Brave and admitted that the Oscar-winner almost appeared in Legacy's End of Line scene. Kosinksi explained:
Oh! At the End of Line club... Jared and I had actually been talking about Tron since Tron: Legacy back in 2009. We almost put him in that movie, actually in that scene!
The End of Line scene certainly would make for a perfect place to subtly introduce Jared Leto's character. After all, the sequence also features a cameo by original Tron director Steven Lisberger. As a place to intermingle outlandish characters from The Grid universe, it essentially serves the same function as a Star Wars cantina scene. Although Leto's cameo never actually panned out, Joseph Kosinksi's recent remarks to Comingsoon.net indicate that he wanted to get the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman into the Tron franchise almost a full decade ago.
Who knows? Maybe he could've even collaborated with Daft Punk during the "Derezzed" fight sequence? That's already one of the coolest moments in the entire film, and including a rock star like Leto arguably could've made it even cooler.
Although no substantial progress has been made on Tron: Ascension recently, there's still a pretty clear case to be made that fans would want to see it happen. Many die-hard Tron nerds have demanded to see Disney give the project the go-ahead, and Tron: Legacy laid plenty of narrative groundwork for future installments. Between Sam Flynn managing to get Quorra out of The Grid, Kevin Flynn's sacrifice to defeat Clu at the film's climax, and the tease of Cillian Murphy's potential return as Edward Dillinger Jr., several different plot threads went unresolved by the time the credits rolled on the 2010 sequel.
As of right now, it remains unclear if a third Tron movie will ever get off the ground, as Joseph Kosinksi also mentioned that Ascension hasn't moved beyond the script phase. Plus, the director is currently gearing up for a trip into the Danger Zone with Top Gun: Maverick, which is dated for a July 12, 2019 release. Until then, you can catch his latest work on Only the Brave, which debuts in theaters later this month on October 20.