Second TRON: LEGACY Set Visit Yields Encouraging Data

ComingSoon has the goods in Part 2 of their TRON: LEGACY set visit just blogged late tonight, featuring some great (but not game spoiling) insights into the production’s culture of creativity . . . and close-fitting costumes (again!).

Olivia Wilde, director Joseph Kosinski and Jeff Bridges on the set of TRON: LEGACY. Photo c. Disney

Olivia Wilde, director Joseph Kosinski and Jeff Bridges on the set of TRON: LEGACY. Photo c. Disney

While actors Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund and Michael Sheen deal with the physical challenges of skin-tight suits with their own micro-lighting systems, they also reflect on the film’s main mission as a sequel: to deliver futurist thrills in a dramatically involving story, a task which even veterans from 1982’s original TRON admit that film only got half-right.

Highlight quotes from this set visit offer insights into how the virtual world of Tron has evolved in the decades since Kevin Flynn first saw it:

Everything is the same but evolved, as if the universe was still on an old Cray computer like a contained Galopagos, disconnected and evolving. They even brought in Syd Mead, the great visual futurist who was on the original’s design team, for a day to inform these new worlds. Some new additions to the arsenal are also glimpsed, including a four-wheeled dune buggy, Clu’s throne ship, a giant crane on the roof of Encom, and some other vehicles which were only hinted at that really let our imaginations FLY.

This is most encouraging news for a generation no longer automatically amazed by CG visual effects and vintage arcade games which pale in comparison to the power-packed CPUs of home console game systems.  Just seeing the world of Tron is no longer the film’s reason for being, audiences must now care about the characters (old and new) to want to follow them back into the other side of the screen again. With Bridges reprising his role as Flynn, the dramatic potential of this father-son story only raises the dramatic stakes in the sequel.

Yet the look of Tron is one of the now-franchise’s most distinctive traits, and fans won’t get short-changed by director Joseph Kosinski‘s vision.  Witness these very cool descriptions of the underworld nightclub owned by Sheen’s wild-looking character, Castor, and a preview of original score duo Daft Punk‘s appearance there:

We got to really see these suits in action entering the soundstage housing the massive set for the End-Of-Line Club, a bustling bar filled with many colorful denizens of the electronic world. The whole set must have been at least 3-stories high, with huge diagonal columns. There is a big LED panel under the floor connected to a laptop running footage of clouds to surreal, trippy effect. There is a bar stocked with blue liquid in large bladders, a partially-bluescreened staircase (the steps will float) leading to a stage, and a DJ booth housing none other than French house music duo Daft Punk, who are also creating the soundtrack for the film. Guy and Thomas were wearing Tron-World iterations of their usual black-helmet outfits, and piping in a droning, rhythmic cut they had created for the scene that completely fits the New Wave cyber-punk, proto-fascist vibe.

Indeed, the new music scored for the teaser trailer deftly fit both the evolved look and dramatic tone of TRON: LEGACY along with its bold approach to this evolved cyber-universe.  As Flynn has aged (along with the original film’s fans), the world has gotten darker, more complex and more dangerous. The new technology behind the self-illuminated costumes, sets and vehicles will certainly make the light pop against the darkness surrounding them.

ComingSoon confirms what many of us have suspected since we saw the first visual effects test footage and Kosinski’s teaser trailer earlier this year:

After the debut of the trailer, and what we saw on set, there is no longer any doubt TRON: LEGACY will be a milestone visual achievement. Whether this film will ultimately have the emotional impact on audiences the original missed the mark on remains to be seen, but Wilde is very hopeful.

“The first one was more of a cautionary tale,” she says. “So this one is sort of what happens when that cautionary tale has not been heeded. When there’s been 30 years of technology becoming increasingly powerful, where are you left at that point?

The real mind-blower of TRON: LEGACY is that Kosinski estimates that in this virtual universe, hundreds of years of evolution have transpired while our real world saw only a couple of decades pass. Buckle up when the next-gen LightCycles rev up on December 17th and hang on!


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