‘Tron: Ares’ Director Expresses Frustration As Strikes Delay Start Of Production

It was no sure thing for Disney to greenlight Tron: Ares. While the original 1982 Tron was a cult hit, the sequel Tron: Legacy was a disappointment when it arrived more than two decades later. Given all of the cost-cutting measures at Disney lately, it wouldn’t be surprising if they pulled the plug, which has to make director Joachim Rønning want to get it done as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, that ain’t happening due to the WGA and SAG strikes. In an Instagram post, Rønning revealed that production on Tron: Ares has been delayed indefinitely, with much of the crew laid off due to the current stoppage. While you can sense his frustration, it’s also clear that he supports both strikes and for writers and actors getting fair compensation.

Today was supposed to be our first day of principal photography on TRON: ARES (a movie subsequently about AI and what it means, and takes, to be human). Instead, we are shut down with over a hundred and fifty people laid off. It’s indefinite, which makes it exponentially harder for everyone.

“The AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA and WGA need to speed up the negotiating process and not leave the table until it’s done. This is Hollywood. We close deals for breakfast. Why do we suddenly have all the time in the world when every day is so precious? These tactics are extremely frustrating. It’s time for diplomacy so we can get back to work – under conditions that are fair to everybody.”.

The absolute best moments of my career have been watching an actor perform in front of the camera – taking the scene and the text to a higher place. I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with amazing talent. It’s a huge part of why I’m a filmmaker. However, like myself, being an actor or a writer, means you’re a freelancer. And I can tell you, the constant uncertainty is not for everyone. To that end I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a better safety net.

He added, “Many of my best friends are writers. Everything starts with the story. Everything starts with you. That must continue. And that means that AI needs to be regulated. There is no doubt about the threat the technology poses to all creatives.”

Unless Disney gets cold feet during this delay, Tron: Ares should get moving once the strikes are over. And then we can see how Jared Leto holds up in The Grid.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.