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Disney screens proof-of-concept footage for "TR2N"

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Disney screens proof-of-concept footage for "TR2N"

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Who says that Walt Disney Pictures can't keep a secret?

As the "Race to Witch Mountain" panel ended yesterday at Comic-Con, 6,500 people got to their feet. As these folks made ready to head back into the San Diego Convention Center, that panel's MC hurried back onstage. Saying "Stay in your seats please. We have something else to show you folks. Something that won't be in theaters for another year or so."

And then the house lights went down again. The Walt Disney Pictures appeared on the screen, then quickly faded to black. A very familiar sort of black.

And then -- as muted neon-like lines of color appeared on the distant black-marble horizon -- a gasp went up in Hall H. It couldn't ... It can't be ... Tron 2?!

But that's what it was, folks. Three minutes of CG goodness. Showing two lightcycles zooming across a seemingly infinite game grid. Of course, this being 2008 rather than 1982 ... The game has changed somewhat over the past 26 years. Now players can race across different levels of the same terrain, using spiral ramps up or down in an attempt to gain an advantage over their opponents.

And as for the lightcycles themselves ... They were very reminiscent to the bikes seen in the original Steve Lisberger film. Only bigger and meaner-looking. Which -- given the way that these two vehicles battered against one other as they raced across the course, sending showers of blue & yellow sparks flying everywhere -- only seemed appropriate.

Yeah, this was definitely not your Daddy's "Tron." As was apparent by the appearance of first a grey, bearded version of Flynn (Jeff Bridges). Who was holed up in this austere furturistic penthouse which overlooked the game grid. This was then followed by the appearance of a much younger looking CG Flynn. Who -- as the injured lightcycle rider lay crumpled at Flynn's feet said "Hey, it's only a game" -- he powered up his energy disk and then said "Not anymore." And as this CG Flynn moved in for the kill, the "TR2N" logo formed onscreen.

And at that point, the crowd in Hall H went absolutely nuts.

I'm told that the three minutes of footage that was shown at Comic-Con yesterday wasn't so much a trailer for "TR2N." But -- rather -- a proof of concept. This footage was actually used to convince Mouse House managers that "Tron" could effectively be updated / reimagined for today's audiences. Who obviously demand a bit more edge to their action.

Which is why the first "Tron" 's Flynn character is now being rethought of as a Colonel Kurtz-style villain. Someone who's no longer grounded in reality. But -- rather -- has slipped off into cyberspace where he's now wrecking havoc.

Speaking of Flynn ... I'm told that -- in order to keep word from leaking out that "TR2N" was actually in the works -- Jeff Bridges shot all of his Mad-Old-Flynn scenes with a very small crew in a single afternoon. And that each member of this production team then had to sign confidentiality agreements in order to prevent word from leaking out in advance about the "Tron" sequel.

Which is why this footage caught everyone at Comic-Con by surprise. As the lights came up in Hall H, you could see people all over that auditorium whipping out their cellphones and frantically calling their friends. Proudly proclaiming "I just saw the 'Tron 2' trailer."

FYI ... If you're at this year's Comic-Con and missed out on seeing the "TR2N" footage yesterday, my sources at Disney suggest that you might want to attend Saturday's "Bolt / Up!" presentation. Which could possibly feature a second appearance of Crazy-Old-Flynn.

So are you folks really ready to return to the world of Tron? Particularly since "TR2N" is reportedly being envisioned as a showcase for the Disney Digital 3D process?

Your thoughts?

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  • If Lasseter and the brain trust take a look at the script, this has a great deal of potential -- especially in Disney Digital 3D.

    Bridges is a very good actor -- and I'm glad to see he's involved in the project.

    Now, if Disney could only get together with Steven Spielberg and resurrect the long-shelved prequel to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" or at least create a new short with the characters to guage possible interest.

  • Sorry, but whenever I look at "TR2N" it reads like "TRZN", meaning "Tarzan".

    Might want to rethink this one, guys.

  • I have to disagree with you Rudy ... you're not seeing "TR2N" set in type, as a logo, or in context to an ad campaign. There's a great deal that can be creatively done to "TR2N" to immediately convey this has NOTHING to do with "Tarzan."

  • I have to disagree with you Rudy ... you're not seeing "TR2N" set in type, as a logo, or in context to an ad campaign. There's a great deal that can be creatively done to "TR2N" to immediately convey this has NOTHING to do with "Tarzan."

  • This makes me SO exicted!! I love the original (and so does my 5 yr old son) and I thought it never got what it deserved. It should have been as big as Star Wars. So maybe this time it can be!

  • I guess Bridges is going to concentrate on playing bearded badguys in this phase of his career--between IronMan and this...or was the beard in the test footage only 'cause he had it grown for real FOR IronMan? Of course, he does a lot of voiceover work too....for which beards are optional (smile)

  • Why?

    I for one am tired of remakes. I want to see something new.

  • Blue Sky Disney is reporting that Disney is developing a sequel to "Tron" - and they they showed a 3-minute clip at Comic Con this week. Other coverage from FirstShowing.net: The trailer opens with a man running from an approaching light cycle. As he

  • Atemylunch -

    I have to agree.  I am sick of remakes, reimaginings, reboots and sequels to cult films that came out 25 years ago.  I believe this can be a hit, but why bother?  Do enough people remember the first Tron to make Tron 2 (I'm sorry, but I refuse to type it the way Jim did) the start of a mega franchise?  Don't you think (considering that the original is considered a "cult" classic) there are a lot of people like me that think the original was kind of stupid?  Let's get Prince of Persia out first and then see where Disney is (or needs to be) in terms of mega franchises.  

  • dravanos-

    Hate to disagree, but Prince of Persia hardly counts as original either (it is a major game franchise)... if anything, Tron is far more of a risk in terms of creating a new property

  • "Tron" is a breakthrough film that, though not a success at the time, has been credited with inspiring a generation of filmmakers.  So, no, I don't think there are "a lot of people" who think it was "kind of stupid".  "Cult classic" does *not* equal "bad".

    The video game Tron 2.0 proved that fans can accept an updated Tron, as long as it does not go against the sensibilities of the original.  Given the fact that Flynn is not exactly the epitome of responsibility, it is easy to see him losing himself even more than he had at the original movie's start, so this one seems to stay in line.

    My only hope is that Steven Lisberger is invloved, at least as a consultant to keep things on track.

  • The first Tron was awful!  Why are they making a sequel?  This has got Speed Racer written all over it.

    What next, 'Black Cauldron 2'?

  • I just can't imagine that very many people were clamoring for a sequel to Tron.  Not judging whether it will be good or bad - it sounds like it has a lot of potential, I just can't imagine people were waiting with baited breath for it.  Plus, everytime Tron comes up I think of the Freakazoid episode where FanBoy goes on a rant about Tron not really being the movie that broke the bank at Disney.   It's a property for fanboys.

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