The new Tron: Legacy footage you DIDN'T see

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

One of the things we've been waiting for the most at this year's Comic-Con is the premiere of footage from Tron: Legacy. Well, it just happened on Thursday morning and it was, in a word, awesome! Here's a few more words: Dazzling. Killer. Spectacular ... you get the picture. Or rather, we got the picture. In 3D! (Real, not converted.)

Yes, glasses were handed out so that the thousands in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center could get the full effect of what we'll be seeing in this movie.

The footage focuses mainly on lead character Sam (Garrett Hedlund) as he enters the computer world and is prepared for his role in the virtual games we all remember and love from the original. Transported by massive personnel carriers, he is vaulted on a massive platform into an antechamber where four female avatars strip away his clothing and replace it with the classic suit. His next stop? The arena where the games begin.

A quick montage introduces us to characters played by Michael Sheen and Olivia Wilde, we see lots of disk war and lightcar action, and are finally introduced to Bridges as both an older version of his character Kevin Flynn and a younger version ... his avatar in the virutal world (through the wonders of CG).

If any movie was ever ripe for 3D, it's Tron Legacy. The footage has depth and clarity (not surprising since it all takes place in a virtual environment) and the contrast of the black, gleaming surfaces and neon-like lighting makes for a barrage of eye-popping visual magic. According to director Joe Kosinski, the production used the new and improved versions of the cameras used to shoot Avatar. The new Tron looks epic in every way, while respectful of the original's sheer inventiveness.

The question-and-answer session that followed (with Bridges, Sheen, Wilde, Hedlund, Bruce Boxleitner, Kosinski, first Tron writer/director Steven Lisberger and producer Sean Bailey) didn't break any news, but the filmmakers and cast members discussed the technical, physical and dramatic challenges of continuing the story after 28 years.

Bruce Boxleitner, who plays the title role, said when asked what drew him back to this story, "Working with Jeff again, finding out what happened to the characters, that's what intrigued me—it's such a great take on these characters and seemed so absolutely real, I was just thrilled by it."

Bridges, for his part, said that coming back to Tron "tickled the kid in me, especially with the chance to go inside the computer with all the new toys that we have."

And yes, something special is planned for the original Tron on Blu-ray ... details yet to be unveiled.

It was two years ago that test effects footage was shown to an appreciative Comic-Con audience, pretty much leading Disney to greenlight the new movie. Now, two years later, the promise of two years ago is fulfilled. Tron is back, folks!