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The ‘Legacy’ of ‘Tron’

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By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

In 1982 Walt Disney Pictures released “Tron,” a small sci-fi action movie about software programmer Kevin Flynn, who became trapped in his own video game creation. It only made $33 million and wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award for visual effects, because the computer generated effects then were considered cheating.


However, despite its initial moderate success “Tron” became a cult classic that inspired a generation of filmmakers and was ultimately considered ahead of its time.


Now 28 years later, the company is revisiting its vivid creation with “Tron: Legacy,” the long anticipated sequel, scheduled for release Dec. 17.


In “Legacy,” Kevin’s son Sam goes looking for his missing father in the now super advanced virtual world Kevin created.


Jeff Bridges reprises his role as Kevin, as does Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley.


Newcomer Garrett Hedlund plays Sam and Olivia Wilde portrays the program Quorra, while the rest of the cast includes British actors Michael Sheen and James Frain as programs Sam meets in the computer world.


Bridges also plays the program Clu 2.0, which features a younger version of the actor. Effects artists took a computer generated 3-D model of Bridges’ face and then using footage from 1984’s “Against All Odds” as basis, digitally made the actor younger.


For a film like “Tron: Legacy” it is these details that will make fans of the original happy.


The effects used in “Legacy” are very advanced and modern looking, which is extremely important for a film that takes place in a completely digital world.


Adding to the movie’s modern feel is the score by electronic duo Daft Punk. As longtime fans of the original, the artists jumped at the chance to create new music for one of their favorite films. In the score, the duo blended classical music with electronica, using a 90 piece orchestra to create a sound unique enough to match the film’s visuals.


They even appear in the movie as MP3 programs at the End of the Line club.


A lot has been made about the film’s budget, which has been rumored to be around $200 million. However, numbers this high are not unusual for effects heavy films.


Like all cult films, “Tron” has a very loyal fanbase. In fact it was those fans that got the film made in the first place.


It was at the 2008 Comic-Con that fans were surprised with a teaser trailer featuring a light cycle battle and Bridges as an older Kevin Flynn. Fan response was so overwhelming; the studio began to seriously develop a “Tron” sequel.


At the following year’s convention, the same trailer was shown with footage from the just finished film. Once again, it was the rabid fanbase that ramped up anticipation on “Tron: Legacy.”


All of which proves that a solid nerd fanbase should never be underestimated.

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