Sunday, 13 April 2008

Tron 2 In 2010

A sequel to the cult science-fiction movie Tron is under production under the direction of Joseph Kosinski. No official date yet for the release of Tron 2 but we may fairly expect if for 2010.

The first Tron movie written and directed by Steven Lisberger was released by Disney in 1982: it was really in advance on its time with cutting-edge computer graphics. It was starring Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn (and his counterpart inside the electronic world, Clu), Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley (and Tron), Cindy Morgan as Dr. Lora Baines (and Yori) and Dan Shor as Ram. David Warner plays the villain, Ed Dillinger (and Sark), as well as providing the voice of the Master Control Program.

Here below a trailer (sourced by PalaceRoadshow from a VHS home video released in 1984) of the first movie Tron:

I'm even more amazed today by the technical advance of this film. They got everything right with the limited computer resources of the 1980's: that's incredible.

The movie Tron 2 could be even more mesmerizing with the latest developments in CGI.


Michael B said...

This is going to be the best movie ever, I think it will get the best box office $$$ for that year, I cant bevel they are making a second one, it is my favorite movie, and I am only 21. The movie came out 26 years ago. I thought they could never make a TRON movie because of all the new technology in the world, but I see now, more then ever, all the new technology is going to make the movie that much better. They broke throw the barrier for digital movies 26 years ago by being the first to use digital movie magic, and they are about to do it agine by being the first to use gaming graphics for a movie which makes it look that much sweeter. I hope they keep it under raps like X-files, but I hope they do more advertising for it then X-files did. This clip makes me want to play all my TRON games agine and I have like all of them. Hope others are excited like I am “If you can’t tell by now”

Michael B said...

thank you for puting this up, youtube keeps tacking them down, like the one you put up, hope your youtub site comes back up soon sory abou that , that sucks, and i liked talking with people about it, people dont rilly talk hear, but i still come any ways :)

Anonymous said...

Actually if you go check:

They did not use CGI....

Most of the 'lins', glowing outfits, etc., were all DRAWN by the Disney animators....

Just go find 'behind the scenes stuff.....

(PS: movie trivia: fist movie to use 'CGI' was 'The Last Starfighter', all scenes in 'space' were drawn by an 'Atari 7800')

Brad Hansen said...

Speaking of Jeff Bridges, I wrote an unsolicited script for a Starman sequel back in 1998. It was my first script and I quit college to finish it. It’s been gathering dust ever since. I sent it to Jeff Bridges and John carpenter, although I would prefer if Carpenter didn’t direct a sequel. I wrote some good f/x sequences and some interesting characters. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be involved, but I’d to see the f/x scene from the beach being incorporated, (Jeff’s manager Neil will know the one, totally plagiarised from another movie, but it would look great on film today). If anyone has any questions, email me at and I’ll answer them. (Although I won’t give away any plot points. And yes there is a son and indeed, I actually have the perfect casting suggestion!! So, with Karen Allen in the spotlight, Jeff returning for Tron 2, why the hell shouldn't they bet back together for Starman 2?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous:

I have to disagree with you. I saw the original TRON back when it came out in 1982, plunked many a quarter into the arcade game, and saw the film at the age of 9 years old. To this very day, it STILL blows me away.

I also bought the 20th-Anniversary Special Edition DVD, six years ago, with 5 hours of supplemental material. On that note, TRON actually did use SOME CGI, as there were THREE different companies that did the CGI, and they communicated with each other by using a very old modem system. The parts that were CGI were the vehicles, The MCP, the graphics in the games that Flynn was playing in his arcade (Space Paranoids and the light cycle game) and to some extent the backgrounds, as well as the sequence where Flynn flies into the digital world inside the computer. Everything else was actually hand-drawn and backlight composited with the aid of Kodalux sheets that were filmed with the backlighting (basically a precursor to rotoscoping). There was also some stop-motion and compositing work, such as the scene where Flynn gets digitized. On the DVD commentary, Lisberger, Ellenshaw, and Richard Taylor mention that they basically broke up a picture of Jeff Bridges into pieces, and then animated it breaking up frame-by-frame, as the laser hit the picture, and also wire mesh was composited into the shot, as well as the shot where Clu derezzes after getting tortured by the MCP. There was also tons of optical effects (such as mattes, especially the shot with the rows of cubicles inside the ENCOM company) used.

Nowadays, any kid with preferably a Macintosh, some good graphics program (like Maya), and Final Cut Pro or Adobe After Effects, could make TRON easily.

Also, the first film to use computer animation was NOT, "The Last Starfighter" but an old sci-fi film called, "Westworld", with actor Yul Brynner. TRON was actually the first film to use CGI for more than a few minutes (actually a total of 15 minutes of the whole film to be exact). Look it up on Then again, there would be no, "Toy Story", or, "Barnyard", or, "Happy Feet", or even the 1983 TV show, "Automan" (which was produced by the same guy that produced TRON) without TRON having been ONE OF the first films of its kind that entered the picture. End of Line.

TRON.dll said...

Woah, awesome music! I've never seen that trailer, nice find.

Al said...

The original Tron movie DID use CGI......almost a full 15 minutes of it total. The light cycles, the solar sailer, the recognizers, the MCP and a few other details/sequences. All the rest of the effects were cel or post-production backlighting to give the effect that everything was glowing with electricity. This movie was the very first movie to use CGI and paved the way for all that we see today.

Anonymous said...

You noobs. It's typical of your generation to get a hard on for all the flashing lights and miss the true genius of this film.

Back in 1982 this film was able to explain in truely mesmerising graphic form how computers systems are structured and work, (i.e. operating systems, programs, viruses), and how this can mirror how modern societies are structured and the power relationships between the players.

This happened in a truly revolutionary time in computing where major advances were being made in computer programming and home computing and the film reflects the rebel nature of a free roaming program over the tyranny of an all powerful all controlling operating system.

It is this that gives the film its true cult status not whether or not they used CGI (although the graphics are in every way an iconic symbol of the 80's).

If you missed this then I suggest you go back and watch Tron over again. We cant expect Tron 2 to obtain the cult status of the first movie, but its true success will depend upon whether there is a real and relevant narrative that transcends all the dayglo, avatars, whizzes and booms.

Remember: great graphics alone do not a great film make: T4 and Transformers 2 should have taught you that!

Anonymous said...

MAGI Production team member....

TRON really broke the barrier of CGI when the film was made. Sure it had been used is tiny bits of earlier film productions, but never in a full movie marvel as TRON.
There were several companies that contributed different types of CGI for this movie's many scenes and transgressions including backgrounds. MAGI did some 20 minutes of the digital imagery; light cycles, recognizer, bit, tanks and backgrounds.

We used our own custom written program, Synthavision, which mostly was written in Fortran. Our computers were Perkin Elmer mini frames that had very little memory and extremely slow CPU power. Today these computers and programs are able to do things in real time speed. We tried to hire the best artists, but often they became frustrated waiting to see results that took hours to crunch and even at that, they only saw a low rez clip of a few seconds. Their talent became shadowed by all the endless entry of numbers in specific data columns that really had no sense what so ever to this artist. It took months to develop the association between these numbers and the images in their heads. Some often wished they had quit long before, but our CGI contribution to TRON has become a milestone to the industry.

Many never understood the other part of the movie's graphic technical challenges to produce the costumes of the actors in the computer world scenes. Neither did the fools that placed TRON in the only Academy Awards category, Best Costume. The "costume" you saw was not something that was worn on a set and filmed to be shown in the movie as you saw it. It was done in B&W with leotards and black tape added to then where all the sparks and lights were flashing. Each frame was blown up onto pin registered foils and hand masked, some 14 to each frame, to create all this fancy stuff and then re-filmed with color separation filters, adding and removing these masks per finished frame. The final frame had to be matched to the color of the scene's color scheme and also mask the flesh to appear correctly. All this was done for one frame at a time and there had to be 23 more for 1 second of film time. This caused huge logistics in keeping track of each frame, the required number of masks and the color tables, exposures etc. A computer program was designed to handle the task. You could not imagine the number of foils or masks required to do the computer costumed scenes, but they filled a few warehouses full of them. Think of all the hours it took to hand opaque all the masks. Watch the film credits of all the Asian names go up the screen. They did the hand opaquing. I still have some of these pin registered foils and original finished film frames along with scene sketches.

TRON was really a true pioneer in CGI movie production. Look at Blue Sky Productions and the films they have done today. Their principals were all MAGI team members.

I only hope TRON Legacy is done with the same class of its predecessors. Todays computer electronics, tends to allow too much image mush and results are one headache, literally. A blend of good specially effects is great, beyond that it is yuck!

Marshall said...

That 80's trailer's music is so funny. Hard to believe how cheesy the 80's truly were. I hope TRON's sequel is as good as TRON was for its time, but I feel we have all become a little desensitized to it all; hopefully they have a good storyline with this one. The clip of the guy with the cane has me a little worried...looks like the equivalent of a Merovingian character, just more gay. There are a lot of inspirational influences TRON Legacy can pull from - I just hope it is as original as its predecessor.