SDCC: Disney unveils first 3-D Tron footage ever

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Adam-Troy Castro
Jul 4, 2015

Following presentations for the upcoming Disney films A Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland, moderator Patton Oswalt introduced the cast and crew of Tron Legacy, the highly-anticipated sequel to Steven Lisberger's 1982 sci-fi opus. Lisberger, along with Legacy director Joe Kosinsky, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, and Jeff Bridges fielded questions from Comic-Con attendees and showed images from the film.

After unceremoniously announcing the film's title, which was broadcast on the main screen while new music by Daft Punk played, Kosinsky introduced a series of images from the new film, including designs for several vehicles. These included pictures of the updated Recognizer, the solar sailer, and of course the newest light cycle, which has evolved since the first film and has advanced five generations. The recognizer is the vehicle Flynn pilots in the original film, although its design is more complicated and mechanical (as opposed to purely geometric). Additionally, Kosinsky briefly described the universe of Tron as of modern day: calling it a "photo-real, or photo-surreal environment," he explained that the original Tron universe has sort of evolved on its own, and the images indicate that much of the world is familiar to fans of the first film, but evolved or updated in a fascinatingly "futuristic" way.

Speaking to Patton Oswalt, Lisberger said that he was reinvigorated by the process of returning to Tron. "I feel like rip van winkle," he said. Discussing how the old film and new one compare, he continued, "we got to get to this frontier first and we got to dream big. {but now,] we just scanned Jeff Bridges for real and put him on the game grid."

Mock-reluctantly, Kosinsky set up a clip from Tron Legacy in which Sam Flynn, played by Hedlund, revisits Flynn's arcade from the original film. Remarkably, the building looks identical to the way it was some 27 years ago, albeit appropriately aged: video games, all covered with dust-coated plastic, form a maze of entertainment that leads upstairs to Flynn's old residence, complete with '70s sectional sofa, and then to a wall display that trumpets his company's greatest creation, Tron itself.

Pulling a tarp off of the game, he attempts to insert a quarter and play it—and awesomely, it perfectly resembles the look and sound of the actual vintage video game—but it falls on the floor, revealing a scratch that suggests there's something behind the machine. Pulling the machine aside, Sam discovers a door and enters, flashlight in hand. As he ventures further into the room, the game slides back in front of the door, potentially locking Sam inside.

Fielding a few questions from the audience, Kosinsky said that Daft Punk was a natural choice for them when choosing who would record the score—"How could you not go to those guys?" he asked rhetorically—and went on to reveal that the electronic duo already recorded some 24 tracks for the film. Because time was running short, however, the remainder of the question and answer session was abbreviated, primarily because Oswalt insisted that Kosinsky show the original teaser from last year's Comic-Con, which has since been refitted with 3-D.

Announcing that attendees who received coins saying "Tron" and "Flynn's Arcade" upon entry were invited to join a "Friends of Flynn" party outside the convention center later that day, the cast and crew departed as Tron's legacy lingered in the air.

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