TRON LEGACY and fans ask the Lora/Yori Question

Steven Lisberger‘s 1982 groundbreaking, forward-looking virtual adventure TRON has forged an enduring legacy for many reasons, one of which being its loyal, devoted and enthusiastic fanbase. Their numbers have grown and evolved, just as the virtual world has amid the 21st century storytelling servers powering TRON LEGACY, Joseph Kosinski‘s next-gen sequel rezzing up in theaters this December.

Just as Disney and the filmmakers are engaging this Tron fanbase in full force with its clever, already compelling viral marketing campaign — resulting in IMAX 3D sneak previews of TRON LEGACY‘s teaser trailer — the fans are more than meeting them halfway on the gaming grid.  Their letters and grassroots campaigns have helped make the new film possible by demonstrating a groundswell of support for turning a cult film into a generation-spanning franchise.

Cindy Morgan as Yori in TRON

But not all the Tron-iacs are completely happy yet.  Fans cheered the returns of Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their roles as Kevin Flynn and Alan Bradley from the 1982 film, but also couldn’t help note an absence of the third star from this Tron triumvirate, Cindy Morgan who played Lora Baines/Yori along side them.  Ms. Morgan has stated publicly in recent weeks that neither Disney nor the filmmakers had contacted her to reprise either role even as a cameo — a plot hitch partly based upon the backstory ‘fact’ that Lora was supposedly killed sometime between the events of TRON and the Tron 2.0 videogame in the franchise’s expanded universe.

Yet after his appearance at the Los Angeles sneak preview, director Kosinski confirmed that the events and history depicted in Tron 2.0 will not serve as storytelling canon for TRON LEGACY.  Even so, rumors abound that Lora may simply have met a different fate in the ensuing two decades since TRON.  When pressed for an answer by an LA fan, Kosinski stated carefully, “Her character is not in TRON LEGACY, but that doesn’t mean she’s not in the world of Tron.”

While his statement may remain technically true, as of this date Cindy Morgan hasn’t revisited the “world of Tron” at all, months after the sequel wrapped production and is now months into a solid year of post-production visual effects.  In fact, Morgan wasn’t even invited to Disney’s off-campus Comic-Con fan event recreating Flynn’s Arcade at the summer 2009 launch of TRON LEGACY marketing.  She patiently waited in line to gain entrance to even view the fan event.

Morgan remains convinced that whatever Disney and Kosinski have in store as Lora’s intervening backstory, she could still fit into the film on one side of Tron-world or the other.  Indeed, fans have launched a Yori Lives campaign to show support for Morgan’s onscreen reunion with Bridges, Boxleitner and their digital alter egos.  Indeed, many major studio productions often schedule brief reshoots to pick up scenes and shots needed to complete the film story in its editing stage, so the opportunity exists for Morgan to squeeze into such a brief reopening of production for a cameo.

Will these devoted Yori fans sway the filmmakers with nine months to go before TRON LEGACY‘s theatrical debut, showing Disney that audiences can interact with Hollywood studios too? With buzz gaining huge momentum for the film in the past month, Morgan has been contacted for comments and several interviews, this in-depth chat with Crave Online being one of the latest.

As Kosinski asked the audience at LA’s trailer sneak viewing, “Are there any girls in here?”  Fans might ask the same of TRON LEGACY, with Olivia Wilde being the only prominent female actor announced so far.  The viral marketing dance between filmmakers and fans kicks up a step or two, and only time will tell the outcome of this Lora/Yori question.  FilmEdge would certainly like to see Cindy Morgan get her due appearance in the film franchise she helped launch, if at all possible. Disney’s gone a long way to please TRON fans with the release of this high-profile sequel, and an appearance by Morgan would demonstrate continued willingness to make this anticipated film all fans have hoped for in the past 28 years.

Like the man said: there’s no problems, only solutions.

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