The original “Tron” established precedent in filmmaking — especially in terms of computer-generated imagery — that defines the industry to this day. But for the new Disney sequel “Tron: Legacy,” director Joe Kosinski actually has someone else to thank: “Avatar” director James Cameron.
At a San Diego Comic-Con panel Thursday, Kosinski shared that because of the amazing design work of the original film — it had such imagination and introduced a world so vivid and vibrant — that it was a challenge to create the next generation of that world and make it feel both photogenic and realistic. Cameron, through “Avatar,” created the tools necessary to produce this film after such a long wait, the director said.
The new “Tron Legacy” brings both Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner back from the 1982 original, while introducing a couple of newcomers to the story — Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. The new film takes fans back into the world where Kevin Flynn was literally sucked in and trapped.
“Tron: Legacy” focuses on the story of Flynn’s son, played by Hedlund, in his quest to locate his missing father.
The story of the son’s love, which drives him to seek out his long-lost father, was the touchstone used to ensnare fans once again. “Tron: Legacy” will continue to explore the dark side of technology in conjunction with its amazing advances. It was Kosinski’s intent to look for a way to bring the audience deeper into the story, he said.
Recent Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, however, admitted that after hearing for so many years that a sequel was happening, that he had kind of given up. Thus, it was a happy surprise to find out that it was finally coming to fruition. He said that it “ticked the kid in me to be sucked into the computer” again, and it was really exciting for him to be involved.
Boxleitner, who would later go on to star in the popular genre series “Babylon 5,” said he also was pleased to see the story come back as he was intrigued to find out what had happened to these characters. Though he was startled to discover that Alan Bradley would be such a lost soul.
It might have been a long time between films, but original “Tron” director Steven Lisberger, said that he thought eh long absence had one unintended benefit: There was an incredible energy that had been building after 25 years that it created an irresistible cyclone of anticipation that will such in an audience — almost the same way that Kevin Flynn was.
The original “Tron” is set for a Blu-ray re-release soon, while “Tron: Legacy” will invade theaters Dec. 17.