I had to eat some of my previous words regarding Garrett Hedlund after I saw On the Road. Taking away any discussion of whether the movie is a reasonable interpretation of the book or the real life people, Hedlund gave a great performance in the Dean Moriarty role. It was quite unlike the subdued, uninteresting performances of his I had seen before; for the first time I felt like I was watching this guy act.
Still, I can't get too excited about him returning for Tron 3, as he has said he will be doing. I can't get too excited for a number of reasons, chief among which is that I can't get excited about Tron 3 at all. Second to that, though, is that I think Hedlund needs a strong director to get a good performance out of him. Walter Salles, director of On the Road, is such a filmmaker. And I'm assuming that Hedlund cared more about that material than Tron Legacy, making his performance better. Why would we expect him to bring good game to Tron 3? Especially since he's contractually obligated, and may or may not give a shit about the movie itself.
I'd love to be proven wrong on every level: I'd love to find out that Disney (who Hedlund says is very excited for the film) learned their lessons from Tron Legacy. I'd love to see Hedlund getting a new perspective on acting after On the Road. I'd love to see a Tron movie I can unabashedly get behind. So far that has never happened.