As a longtime fan of the original 1982 Tron, I was extremely excited to welcome a return to the Tron universe with Disney’s Tron Legacy panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con. Moderator Patton Oswalt greeted attendees with a rousing “Welcome, Furries!” and reminded us that this is the third year Tron Legacy has been at Comic-Con, and joked that the plan is to show Tron Legacy in 5 minute increments at Comic-Con for the next 25 years. The footage started with a mini-documentary highlighting the cultural impact of Tron over the course of the last 27 years (including, incredulously, Tron on ice!).
Patton then introduced the panel: Director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, original Tron creator Steven Lisberger, and stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, and original Tron stars Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges. Kosinski talked about his personal nostalgia with the original film, and the daunting challenge of producing a sequel.
Tron Legacy was shot with the 3D camera system James Cameron created for Avatar and the suits are really illuminated from within, as opposed to the hand-painted post-produced FX of the original. Jeff Bridges spoke about the challenge of playing opposite a digital recreation of himself from 35 years ago. Olivia Wilde talked about the strength of her character and preparing for the physicality of the role, including parour training. Michael Sheen mentioned that the film is in 4D, “cause Jeff Bridges brings an extra dimension of awesomeness.” Bridges and Boxleitner waxed nostalgic at how times have changed in 27 years, yet the pull to the original project was still the same, the fascination with the technology we live with everyday. Then the exclusive 8 minutes of new footage rolled… see description of the new footage here below.
Kosinski then recruited the 6500 member Hall H audience to participate in a mass walla recording. Audience members were asked to shout out the phrases “DISK! WARS!”, “RENZ-LER!”, “DE-REZ!”, and stomp their feet in time, all of which was recorded to be used as spectator voices during the gladiator-style game grid sequence of the film.
During the Q&A section, Bridges spoke about the film’s larger themes, the dangers of the dark side of technology, and somehow tied it into an ecological message. Boxleitner, Bridges, and Lisberger recollected how Bridges became addicted to playing videogames on the set of the original movie. Olivia noted that videogames have changed immensely since her last experience, which was with Duck Hunt.
Kosinski mentioned that the studio is in talks to re-release the original Tron in “all sorts of exciting formats,” implying 3-D and IMAX.
A new trailer was also shown, which contained a lot of scenes from the exclusive footage shown, as well as footage from previously released trailers.
The footage begins with the Disney castle logo morphing into the Tron setting, and Hedlund’s character, Sam Flynn, just as he lands in the TRON world. “This isn’t happening,” he says, a callback to the original film.
Immediately afterward, a pair of guards apprehend him, mentioning that “this program has no disc; he’s another stray.” He’s placed in a line up and corralled aboard a modern-looking recognizer. He then realizes where he’s at and asks a fellow detainee, “Does the name Kevin Flynn mean anything to you?”, “Be quiet if you want to live,” his reply. “Not the games, not the games, not the games,” mumbles another detainee, as the guards start assigning detainees to their fated destinations. The recognizer lands amongst many other recognizers, all carrying prisoners. One detainee leaps to his death rather than be hurded to the game grid. Sam is brought to a staging area where four supermodels in white high-heels and jumpsuits proceed to digitally disrobe him and redress him in his new TRON suit. “He is different,” one says. He’s given a data disc and led toward the game grid. “What am I supposed to do?” he asks one of the girls. “Survive,” she says. This is followed with a montage of images from the film (which seemed vaguely reminiscent to me of Matrix: Revolutions in tone), including Michael Sheen’s Master of Ceremonies character shouting, “Change the scheme, alter the move, electrify the boys and girls, if you’d be so kind!” Sam is surprised to see a young Jeff Bridges who says, “I’m not your dad, but I’m very very happy to see you.” The footage ends with Kevin soaring through the air as he turns into a new vehicle, the TRON jet.
Trailer via Yahoo!.
Photos by Dave3