TRON +28 Years and Counting: Happy Anniversary, Programs!

Though Disney’s TRON: LEGACY won’t ride it’s next-gen LightCycles into theaters until December 17th, this is shaping up to be the Summer of Tron as the sci-fi sequel prepares to dominate Comic-Con 2010 in San Diego this month.  July 9th marked the 28th anniversary of the original groundbreaker TRON’s theatrical release, back in the digital dark ages of 1982.  Digital cinema and CG visual effects have evolved by leaps and bounds since, which only shows how far TRON was ahead of its time.

Posters for TRON (1982) and TRON: LEGACY (2010)

Posters for TRON (1982) and TRON: LEGACY (2010)

Now the original generation of fans (diehards who supported the film which was largely overshadowed by Spielberg’s E.T. phenomenon in the summer of ’82) will be joined by a second generation of new virtual reality seekers, with returning TRON star Jeff Bridges literally bridging the near-thirty-year gap in the story.  Like his role as ENCOM’s video game genius Kevin Flynn, we’ve all gotten a bit older and perhaps a little wiser (at least about 21st century visual effects) in the past 28 years, and likewise TRON: LEGACY has grown into darker, more serious story.  Both Flynn and TRON disappeared from our world for a while, but one look at the eye-popping teaser trailer illustrates just how far the world of Tron has evolved in the meantime to once again define the laser-sharp edge of new fantasy filmmaking.

It’s been a long wait these past 28 years, but Tron’s virtual world has been busy since we last saw it.  Expect the unexpected again this December.

Friend of FilmEdge Jay West has written a splendid article on the TRON legacy for the Hero Complex blog at the Los Angeles Times, so be sure to read his thoughts on this cinematic anniversary and what’s in store for fans at Comic-Con this summer.


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