COMIC-CON: ‘TRON Legacy’ invades Hall H for a third-straight year

Posted by · 1:28 pm · July 22nd, 2010

“It proves to me some things, good things, take a really long time to happen,” “TRON” creator Steve Lisberger said to a packed Hall H, looking strikingly like Bad Blake next to a clean-shaven Jeff Bridges.

And that was the vibe you got from the euphoric crowd this afternoon as Disney revealed eight minutes of footage from the new film “TRON Legacy.” A new trailer was also shown, which was simultaneously “unlocked” by internet users online.

Actors Bruce Boxleitner, Jeff Bridges, Michael Sheen (in his first Comic-Con appearance), Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund joined Kosinski, Bailey and Lisberger on stage with moderator Patton Oswalt for a discussion on technology utilized by the project, re-visiting the material 27 years later and the underlying themes of the film.

“We need modern myths,” Bridges said. “And one of the themes in our movie is the dark side of technology. We’re developing it so fast we haven’t developed any ethics.”

Lisberger added that “there was so much idealism in the air” when the original film was conceived, lending a sense of awe to the piece. “We got to dream big.” But “TRON Legacy” looks to have a much darker undercurrent and that, the panelists agreed, was central to updating Lisberger’s original vision to the modern world.

For Bridges, one of the selling points on the new film was the same thing that drew him to the 1982 original: the chance to play around with cutting edge technology. And in the film, he plays his 60-year-old self as well as, through the help of performance capture technology, a 35-year-old version.

In the year following great debate over performance capture and digital performance enhancement, it was refreshing to hear the year’s Best Actor Oscar winner remaining optimistic about the possibilities. “You can play yourself at any age,” Bridges enthused. “It’s a wonderful, exciting thing.”

And I’m here to tell you, going by the footage, it’s a flawless effect, the Bridges of the mid-80s up there in high-def, 3D, not a glitch in sight.

Kosinski also made a pointing of mentioning that “this is a true 3D film. No conversion here.” And when those eight minutes were unveiled, you could immediately sense why that is such a crucial creative (if not fiscal) point in this brave new world of ubiquitous 3D entertainment.

Like “Avatar” last year, a truly immersive world was presented today. The 3D enhances the visuals absolutely, but organically. The soundtrack, meanwhile, features a low end that rattled throughout the hall, as well as original music from Daft Punk.

On the original score, Kosinski said the electronic duo was always a big fan of the original and expressed very early interest. He and Baily met the two over pancakes three years ago and then got to work.

“There is orchestral, electronic and granular sounds,” Kosinski said of the score. “It’s something exciting but new for Daft Punk fans.”

It’s fitting that this would be, perhaps, the most anticipated event of this year’s convention. “TRON Legacy” is perhaps the first film to really owe a debt to Comic-Con. Director Joseph Kosinski and producer Sean Bailey showed up here two years ago with a test reel of footage to gauge interest in such a project. From the reaction they got in 2008, they moved forward. They brought an exclusive scene to eager viewers at last year’s convention and brought things full circle this year with the new materials.

And that wasn’t lost on Kosinski and company. In a truly unique move for a convention bogged down in the same-old year in and year out, the audience was asked to participate in an audio exercise that will be used in the film. It was a “follow the bouncing ball” type of thing with the audience asked to call out the words on screen when illuminated, as well as stomp during a separate section. One imagines it would be used for an arena sequence in the film, but it was enough to keep the girl in front of me chanting, “Oh my God, oh my God.”

And when the screen called from silence — shockingly — it got it.

Here’s the new trailer, courtesy of Yahoo! Movies:

And some shots from the panel:

[Top photo: Throw Me In the Trash]

→ 26 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

26 responses so far

  • 1 7-22-2010 at 1:41 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Hmm Jeff Bridges has gone Ben Button. Cool.

  • 2 7-22-2010 at 1:59 pm

    bill said...

    i think this could find a spot in the 10 if its as good as it looks

  • 3 7-22-2010 at 2:02 pm

    Hans said...

    I’m so flucking excited for this. District 9 got its start at Comic-Con, too. This could be another Avatar-like wonder.

  • 4 7-22-2010 at 2:25 pm

    Emily said...

    Really? Maybe I just don’t know what I’m talking about but…..

  • 5 7-22-2010 at 2:32 pm

    Drew said...

    Yeah, wasn’t that impressed by the latest trailer for it. But, I was interested in what Bridges had to say above though.

  • 6 7-22-2010 at 2:37 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    This is the most baffling thing I’ve ever encountered at my job. Original film wasn’t a big hit in theaters. Wasn’t a huge hit on video. Never became a cult classic. Just a regular Hollywood movie with prescient visual effects.

    Nearly 30! years later, a big budget sequel is announced and everyone loses their shit. This movie is gonna be huge and I have zero comprehension of why.

  • 7 7-22-2010 at 2:51 pm

    Chase K. said...

    “This movie is gonna be huge and I have zero comprehension of why.”

    This sounds like every Friday Forecast article.

  • 8 7-22-2010 at 2:57 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I think some movies have that “it” factor and when people see the trailer the movie oozes with coolness. The effects look good, the music sounds good and Jeff Bridges is coming off a great year.

    It’s also Disney.

  • 9 7-22-2010 at 3:14 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    It’s a strange testament to the power of perception and Disney just came right out and said this movie is a big fucking deal and people are going with it. Kudos to them. I can’t remember a thing about the original so I can’t get too excited.

  • 10 7-22-2010 at 3:24 pm

    Bryan said...

    I would have to disagree with Chad. I think it is indeed a cult classic. I don’t know how you define that, but with shout outs on things like Simpsons and South Park and the Tron guy it would seem Tron has seeped into our pop culture despite its lack of revenue.

    But yeah, Disney has totally pushed this as the next big thing based on very little, but it looks like it could be cool so who cares. (unless it sucks)

  • 11 7-22-2010 at 3:48 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Chad: You’d be surprised how much of a cult following it has. People have been clamoring for info on this film since it first dipped its toes in the water three years ago. Lots of older geeks losing their shit over it.

    Personally, I never liked the original outside of pure conceptual intrigue. But people who like it LOVE it.

  • 12 7-22-2010 at 4:07 pm

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    Am I alone in saying that young Jeff Bridges (aka Clu 2.0) in the trailer looks horrible? Like Beowulf horrible.

  • 13 7-22-2010 at 4:15 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I haven’t watched it online yet, but on the big screen, I thought it looked flawless.

  • 14 7-22-2010 at 4:22 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    If trailers mean anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tron: Legacy gets itself a Cinematography nom.

  • 15 7-22-2010 at 4:30 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    I’m really excited for this, despite being 23-years-old and having never seen the original, the look of it, plus Bridges, the effects and that awesome score all have my attention. Maybe I should track down the original so I can go into this with a little knowledge of the property. Does anyone know if the original would be considered necessary viewing before seeing this one? I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt, but I’m just wondering, as it looks sort of like a reboot, ala ‘Star Trek’ last year.

  • 16 7-22-2010 at 4:37 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    The original has not aged well at all in terms of visuals. Sure, it was groundbreaking back then, but it looks laughably bad today. If you don’t mind that, then I suppose it’s worth watching. Otherwise, you should just read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia.

  • 17 7-22-2010 at 4:53 pm

    Chase K. said...

    “The original has not aged well at all in terms of visuals.”

    You’re wrong. The original 1982 “Tron” is lush and uniquely captivating. Plus the sound design is aces.

  • 18 7-22-2010 at 5:03 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    It wouldn’t say it’s terrible and I wouldn’t say it’s flawless, but it’s clearly a CGI performance in the trailer.

  • 19 7-22-2010 at 5:07 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    Decide for yourselves.

  • 20 7-22-2010 at 5:30 pm

    Josh said...

    Yeah, I was definitely underwhelmed with the Bridges CGI effect; I guess I’m with Chad, in that it didn’t look horrendous, but it’s very, very clearly not Bridges. I think, though, that Sound Designer Dan should reach further back: I got a Polar Express vibe from it.

    Aside from that, it looks intriguing (and this is coming from someone who’s never seen the original).

  • 21 7-22-2010 at 6:24 pm

    red_wine said...

    I’ve seen the trailer in IMAX 3D a couple of times and it looks sensational. But the story that I gathered from the trailer seems just so generic and cliched, pretty much like any other “adventure” story. I’ll watch this mainly for the visuals and 3D.

  • 22 7-22-2010 at 9:24 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    Thanks for the replies Jacob and Chase. I wouldn’t mind giving it a peek. I do believe I’ve seen bits and pieces before, I think my dad was watching it once when I was really young and I wasn’t that interested, haha, but I’d like to see it now.

    As for CGI Bridges, I personally can tell the difference pretty obviously, but it looks well enough. Especially with the film’s style and all the visual effects, it won’t be so blaring.

  • 23 7-23-2010 at 11:19 am

    A.J said...

    Tron has a huge cult following. Not that I blame you for not knowing that. People went apeshit when it was announced that Kingdom Hearts 2 would have a Tron level. The first film was disqualified from the visual effects category for cheating by using computers, make up award time?

  • 24 7-23-2010 at 9:13 pm

    Jim C said...

    Wasn’t quite as effective as the previous trailers, but it still looks like a good time at the theaters where we are brought into another world. Never saw the original, a film looked upon as as another starting process in visual effects. Seeing where we come now, this film could deliver on a retro cool premise as Disney looks like they put the time in care into it.

  • 25 7-23-2010 at 9:33 pm

    Hans said...

    “The first film was disqualified from the visual effects category for cheating by using computers, make up award time?”

    That is hysterical. When CGI performances are the only ones nominated in the future, the Oscarwatchers of the will future chuckle at the fact that Zoe Saldana struggled so much to get a nomination.

  • 26 7-26-2010 at 11:51 pm

    Kevin said...

    Kris, does this have the VFX Oscar in the bag like Avatar?