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'Tron: Legacy' Director Explains the Tron World 384

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the light-cycles-and-olivia-wilde dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We only had to wait 28 years for the second installment of 'Tron' — the sequel, 'Tron: Legacy,' comes out on Friday. It is expected to have less awesomely bad '80s graphics and more awesomely awesome millennial CGI. In advance of the opening, Discover has an interview with director Joe Kosinski in which he talks about reinventing the light cycle, and explains that the Tron world resembles the Galapagos Islands, where everything evolved in isolation."
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'Tron: Legacy' Director Explains the Tron World

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  • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @11:47AM (#34562262) Journal

    WTF!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by spun (1352)

      The awesomely bad graphics are one reason you can not purchase the original Tron in advance of the sequel. The awesomely bad plot is another. Disney doesn't want people to remember how bad the movie really was. I mean, I loved it as a kid, don't get me wrong, but I also loved the Dukes of Hazzard, Benny Hill, and the A-Team. Kids have terrible taste in entertainment.

      • by Talderas (1212466) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @11:57AM (#34562452)

        Kids "terrible taste in entertainment" is a good thing. Even though we can look back on Tron and say. God, that is a horrible film, to a child it spurned his imagination. Imagination is unfortunately repressed in our education system. Inspire it where ever possible.

        • by Talderas (1212466)

          That will teach me to his submit before rereading my post after having gone back and edited portions. Subtract "spurned" and replace it with "encouraged".

        • We had art and music classes through to High School in my town. My experience with the education system must have been very different than yours. Did you go to school in a poorer locality? The schools with less money tend to focus (to a fault) on metrics in order to secure enough funding from state/federal in order to keep the place running. Even then they have art and music...

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Art and music can be taught without inspiring imagination (unfortunately). And art and music are only one part of imagination. Rote memorization does little good for anyone, but it is what what schools focus on. And much of it is lost so quickly after school ends that it really serves no use. Teach a man to fish... should be our schools motto. So much of what we think we know turns out to be wrong anyway, once we have more information. "Nerves don't ever regrow on their own. Oh wait, they can in the tongue.

            • by Gilmoure (18428)

              Yup, art college drop out here. I had a GI Bill burning a hole in my pocket and there didn't seem to be many math classes listed in program. 2 years later, I had decent drawing/painting/sculpting skills (technique is easy to learn) but really had nothing to say. Cool thing was, I also learned I had some skills at figuring out computer problems and am now doing ok in tech support. I don't consider my time/money wasted, though. Is nice to have some idea of what art is about, how it's developed, etc. Makes it

          • art and music are the first things to cut then shop!

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:30PM (#34562900) Journal

          Gotta disagree with ye.

          I find Tron more rewatchable than Star Wars A New Hope or Return of the Jedi (zzzzz). And I don't think the graphics are bad especially considering they are *supposed* to look like a computer world. If they looked like Gran Turismo 5 (i.e. real) then I wouldn't feel as if I was inside the circuitry.

          Of course I also like that "Would You Like to Play A Game?" movie so maybe my taste's just bad. (shrug) Reminds me of my youth.

          • by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:43PM (#34563094)

            Wargames. I re watched it recently. It actually has some of the most realistic representations of hacking and hackers in any movie ever.

            • by harrkev (623093)

              You want computer realism in an 80's movie???

              Electric Dreams

              Good movie, but I remember the soundtrack begin great, with two great songs by Culture Club (cue the laughter at my expense now)...

              • by harrkev (623093)

                Sorry to reply to myself.

                IMDB link is HERE [imdb.com]

                I was also EXTREMELY shocked that the region-1 DVD is going for over $100! (region-2 much more reasonably priced for some reason)

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by gstoddart (321705)

              It actually has some of the most realistic representations of hacking and hackers in any movie ever.

              Cue the "It's not hacking, it's cracking" lunacy in 5 ...4 ... 3 ...

          • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

            Of course I also like that "Would You Like to Play A Game?" movie so maybe my taste's just bad. (shrug) Reminds me of my youth.

            I propose a new flame war: War Games vs. Hackers. I'm firmly in the War Games camp and find Hackers to be an unintentional comedy.

          • Yeah I agree about the graphics. The new Tron game and Tron: Legacy trailers make the world look more realistic. The lightcycles even look mechanically workable, complete with a hole under the wheel pod for rubber tires and air brakes.

            WTF? It's a computer world! It's supposed to look unrealistic! THAT'S THE POINT!

      • by eln (21727)
        In general, a movie's quality is inversely correlated to how heavily it's marketed. Tron has been so heavily marketed, with almost all of the marketing concentrating on the eye candy special effects, that I would be absolutely shocked if it turned out to be a really good movie.
      • I (luckily) bought the 20th anniversary DVD when it came out, and just recently watched it for a refresher to catch references in the new movie...

        I had not seen it for a while, but the graphics were not too bad. The suits they wore looked pretty good, most of the computer world had a minimalistic stark look it is true but not really poor in the way the graphics from, say, "The Last Starfighter" looked - in part because much of Tron avoided gradient shading, which is when stuff starts to look dated. The wo

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by spun (1352)

          They could sell you the old movie, and THEN sell you the two disc set. No, I think they really don't want too many people remembering how bad the original was.

          You are comparing it favorably to "The Last Starfighter." Talk about damning with faint praise.

          • You are comparing it favorably to "The Last Starfighter." Talk about damning with faint praise.

            Not really, I am saying it's way better than that was. It holds up MUCH better than other movies from that era, visually and plot wise - as other people noted many of the graphics were not even done on a computer which is why that is true. In fact because so much of the game is set in the computer world you have very little dating of clothing and hairstyles!

            Since you scoff at the Last Starfighter comparison, I'l

          • Enough, already! All of this arguing over whether "Wargames", the original "Tron" and "The Last Starfighter" are really as bad as everyone says, or if it's just elitist snobbery ("I really liked them, but I'm too cool to admit it") is making me want to go watch all three movies to find out if I only enjoyed them because I was in junior high school at the time. In any case, I really don't have the time or money to watch a bunch of old movies, so can we PUH-LEASE end
        • I had it in my Netflix queue a few months ago and they moved it to the saved queue, "availability unknown" and added Tron Legacy.
        • The plot is Tron is also not too bad even for a modern film. Going back to Last Startfighter, there was a film where the graphics looked really dated and the plot was way too simplistic for a modern movie.
          Simple plot, you mean like Avatar? Or perhaps anyone of those boy meets girl, boy loses girl, hijnks, boy get girl, romantic comedies?
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Actually about the "grid bugs" I remember seeing an interview back in the 80s with one of the special effects guys where he explained that there was supposed to be an entire grid bugs sequence where the bugs were to come climbing up the sides of the surrounding hills and attack the solar sail, but the suits balked at the cost of the CGI for it and thought the movie was long enough as is but the special effects guys got it thrown in because they thought the bugs were cool and didn't want to waste them.

          And wh

      • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:06PM (#34562586)

        I had the "wonderful kid movie, terrible adult movie" experience with "Escape to Witch Mountain".

        However, rewatching Tron did not produce that experience. It was okay and some parts were better than okay. The story about the people/characters was reasonably solid and a good story can overcome weak effects while awesome effects can't overcome weak characters and bad story.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:10PM (#34562632) Homepage Journal

        Jees, these kids... I was about 30 when Tron came out. Tron's graphics were awesome for the time, better than any of the coin operated video games that were out then that the movie was portraying.

        As to the plot, aside from the necessary suspension of disbelief of a) a laser disassembling a human and storing him in a computer and b) true machine intelligence, it was as good or better than the average action flick, let alone one of the old westerns from the '40s.

        I was working at Disney when it came out, and got to see a pre-release screening with 72 mm film close to a large screen. The DVD (my copy of which has been stolen, sadly) really paled in comparison to seeing it in 72 mm in the theater.

        No, I had no part in making the movie; the pre-release was one of the many perks Disney employees got.

        The original Star Trek, on the other hand, DID often have cheesy effects, bad acting, and bad plots, even though a lot of the episodes were and still are awesome.

        I fear the new Tron will suck, but hope it doesn't.

        • by vuke69 (450194) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:16PM (#34562730)

          The DVD (my copy of which has been stolen, sadly)

          Wow, Disney is more serious about suppressing the old version than I had initially suspected.

        • better than any of the coin operated video games that were out then that the movie was portraying

          Graphics that take weeks to produce were better than ones that were rendered in realtime? Shocking!

        • Actually, the new cut of ST:TMP is pretty damned good. The story line is still a little slow for a franchise that was often seen as part of the action SF genre. But you know, I actually enjoyed TMP on the last few viewings, going at it from the angle that it was more like 2001 and less like Buck Rogers. The problems with the special effects in the original cut are well known, being largely to do with Roddenberry's mismanagement and with the fact that they were rushed. Being able to go back and clean thi

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            I was referring to ST:TOS rather than TMP, which I thought was a good movie, even if most slashdotters don't.

            OTOH I liked Star Wars EPs 1, 2, &3, so you might take my opinion of science fiction movies with a grain of salt.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Jees, these kids... I was about 30 when Tron came out.

          Jeebus, if any post needed to end with "now get off my lawn", that would be one.

          Sorry, I kid. Couldn't resist. =)

      • by Chelloveck (14643) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:15PM (#34562694) Homepage

        Those "awesomely bad 80s graphics" were awesomely good back in, you know, the 80s. I have no doubt that in another 30 years or so, the graphics in Tron Legacy will be just as laughable. And from everything I hear, the original Tron script will read like Shakespeare compared to the new one... Actually, I didn't find the original script too bad. It's certainly not great, but it held up a lot better than I expected it to when I saw it again a couple years ago.

        BTW, there's already been a Tron sequel, just in video game form. Tron 2.0 [wikipedia.org] came out in 2003 and was created as being a direct sequel to the original. It even had much of the original cast doing voice work, and Wendy Carlos doing the soundtrack. Find a copy and play it. It's a decent FPS, and it's very much in the spirit of the original movie. I hope there's at least some mention of the events of Tron 2.0 in Tron Legacy.

        • Those "awesomely bad 80s graphics" were awesomely good back in, you know, the 80s.

          Definitely. It's also worth remembering that Tron came out in mid-1982, and computer graphics improved at an increasing rate throughout the decade...

          I have the Tron 2.0 video game, but I recall that it always crashed on my machine. Very disappointing :-(.

      • by raddan (519638) * on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:20PM (#34562766)
        Huh. Here I am thinking that the story is inspired (anthropomorphizing a computer's internal conflicts and merging them with the real world conflict... well before The Matrix did the same thing) and that the graphics are pretty cool given that most of them were not CGI. The frisbee-battle and the guy-jumps-into-MCP thing at the end are still visually unique to me. Good thing I have it on DVD so I don't have to listen when other people tell me what is "awesomely bad". It would be sufficient to say that Tron was a contributing factor in my decision to become a computer scientist :^)
        • by gstoddart (321705)

          It would be sufficient to say that Tron was a contributing factor in my decision to become a computer scientist :^)

          *laugh* You had a choice? Someone toured me through a room full of mainframes in about 1981 and showed me a mini-computer.

          The rest was inevitable -- like a moth a flame. :-P

      • by Dalroth (85450)

        Whatever.

        Tron is a product of its time. I can look back at the movie today, and you know what, despite some of the cheesy special effects and acting, I still think it's a pretty damn good movie. Is it the best move ever? No. But it's enjoyable, and fun, and that's all that matters.

      • The awesomely bad graphics are one reason you can not purchase the original Tron in advance of the sequel. The awesomely bad plot is another. Disney doesn't want people to remember how bad the movie really was.

        I can't? Tron has been available on DVD since 2002.

        • by spun (1352)

          Try renting it. Try buying it. Go on, I'll wait. Oh, you can only get it on E-Bay, for over $100? Yeah, the Mouse took it off the market.

      • by RevWaldo (1186281)
        TRON came out during my "BASIC programming on the school's PETs and making regular runs to Radio Shack and the video arcade" days, so of course I loved it. The best part for me was when one of the characters says "Bring in the logic probe!" and being one of the smattering of people in the audience who laughed because we knew what a logic probe was.

        (Also had to love the available-ten-years-from-now graphics used in the fake arcade games. Still love how completely batshit the Comic Con audience went over th
      • Have to disagree. Have you seen how Disney releases DVDs? Pinocchio is out in the 70th anniversary edition. Try to find another edition that's current and you'll be disappointed. They do this all the time. Tron will probably be available for purchase again after Tron Legacy comes out.

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        The awesomely bad graphics are one reason you can not purchase the original Tron in advance of the sequel. The awesomely bad plot is another. Disney doesn't want people to remember how bad the movie really was. I mean, I loved it as a kid, don't get me wrong, but I also loved the Dukes of Hazzard, Benny Hill, and the A-Team. Kids have terrible taste in entertainment.

        How true. How true.

        I've been drenched by waves of nostalgia and purchased various old movies and TV shows on DVD and been shocked how poorly they age in reality vs. my memory.

        Thing about Tron, though, is some of those old graphics have a very beautiful look in their simplicity. Updated movies with better CGI *cough* Star Wars *cough* are not better for the extra CPU cycles expended.

        I'm certain someone could do a really bang up job on the Mona Lisa, in 3D even, but would it compare to the original?

      • In anticipation of the game, I watched the original Tron movie, and played the new Tron Evolution game (it's a decent game, but uses DLC, Windows Live Gaming or whatever it's called, and it takes only about 4 hours to get through the single player story mode...).

        Now I want to see the movie less. The original Tron was an OK movie at best, and the game makes me think Tron suffers from the same cyclic storyline problem as Star Wars. In the game you play a character who looks like Master Chief and talks like Go

      • by erroneus (253617)

        I'm still a "hardcore fan" by the standards of many, but you should have added Star Wars to that list. Seriously. If it came out today, even with "cutting edge" whatever-effects, it was a pretty weak show. The story has depth but it wasn't presented in the movies particularly well. Looking at Episode 4, you begin to realize how much you don't know... or, didn't know, about what they were all talking about at different times. Talking about the senate and its dissolution in the earlier scenes? No one kn

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A tremendous amount of the original Tron "graphics" were actually done the old-fashioned way: multiple passes with filters on the cameras, hand-drawn art, and fancy non-computer special-effects tricks.

      There were also a lot of computer graphics in the movie, but not nearly as much as modern viewers seem to think.

      This is probably because we are so accustomed to everything being done by computer enhancements, especially things that look computer-y, that we just assume anything similar was done on a computer.

      In

      • Yes, I know that. But "graphics" != CGI. The graphics in TRON are not "awesomely bad", they're great.

    • by jdgeorge (18767) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @11:56AM (#34562430)

      Perhaps the submitter does not understand that Tron's graphics were cutting edge at the time. If he doesn't get off my lawn, I'll have to run him over in my awesomely bad 80s monster truck.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Exactly. Just take a look at some of the super computers from that time Tron was mind blowing at the time. The plot was a bit weak but at the time most people didn't even own a computer and 1200 baud modems where rare of not even available yet. I know I lusted after a 300 baud modem at that time.
        For the time it was unreal. Today many people have a "virtual self" or many virtual selfs on Facebook, WOW, and Slashdot for example.

  • On the other hand. I've heard the soundtrack is fantastic as well. They made a very good pick, I feel, in asking Daft Punk to compose the soundtrack.

    • I wish that Wendy Carlos had done some work on the sound track. Seeing as how she's 71 now though, I don't think that was possible.

    • by raddan (519638) *
      I think I'll reserve judgement until I see the movie. A lot of good ingredients went into The Hitchhiker's Guide, like Mos Def as Ford (risky, but possible great choice) and Sam Rockwell as Zaphod (inspired!), but what came out was total crap. Too many special effects, Ford mumbling through his lines, and Arthur's character actually being more annoying than funny. At least they kept the original Guide narrator from the radio series.

      I loved the original Tron movie. I love Daft Punk. Here's to hoping
  • by FatSean (18753)

    Tron was a simple movie. This thing looks like they're throwing in the kitchen sink WRT plot devices. Can't say I really care to see a re-make of Tron. The original was silly enough. I'd bet money the characters will have smartphones inside the computer world...

    • by FatSean (18753)

      Then why call it Tron again, why not come up with a new name? Reboot? Recycle? It's re-something.

      • Then why call it Tron again, why not come up with a new name? Reboot? Recycle? It's re-something.

        They didn't call it 'Tron' again. They called it 'Tron: Legacy' which clearly indicates, as does all the trailers, that it is a sequal. Comprehension fail on your part, or maybe just a horribly failed attempt at trolling.

    • I'd bet money the characters will have smartphones inside the computer world...

      From TFA:

      If you want to send a message to someone, you can’t just beam it across cyberspace. You have to get on your light cycle and deliver it in person.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @11:57AM (#34562454)

    Those 80s graphics were state of the art in 1980 when the movie started production. It sounds like AC has no idea what the fuck he is talking about. See the "Making of Tron" to understand all the complex work involved.

  • The movie is going to have 17 species of finches? And ground dwelling sea going lizards?
  • Now go and make Tron Guy proud!

  • Don't Diss the 80s (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:11PM (#34562642)
    Hey, don't diss the 80s. Those effects were state of the art for their time and deserve better than being said that with 10000X more computer power that we can do better now.
  • ...more awesomely awesome millennial CGI...

    That's too bad. I was hoping it might have an awesomely awesome plot.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      Or awesomely 80s retro CGI.

                -dZ.

    • It can't have an awesome plot or characters, it's TRON.

      3/4 of the movie should look awesome but contribute nothing at all with scenes that could appear in pretty much any order. Also all the proof we need that someone stole code is a print out saying they did, Priority 1, END OF LINE

  • Seems obvious that someone would show it. I've been looking for a few months with no luck.

  • I remember Tron. It was a movie named after a program that was represented in this digital world that HAD NO NAME. Tron was a program created by "a user" (and I forget his name) for the purpose of infiltrating the mainframe computer's operating system to discover what the MCP (Master Control Program) was doing.

    So as I read the interview and they keep saying "Inside Tron" I have to wonder if they really knew what they were saying. Tron was the name of a character, not the world. It would be okay to say "

  • The irony of the new film being awash in CGI is that the original film actually had very little CGI. The tank exteriors, Bit, grid bugs, lightcycles, and maybe a couple other elements were, iirc, the only computer-generated elements in the original Tron, amounting to about 20 minutes of footage. Most of the rest of the "effects" were done with matte paintings and backlighting.

  • I guess I am way too big of a nerd, but I always took Tron: Legacy as Tron 3. Tron 2.0 was released on PC, X-Box, and GBA Tron 2.0 [wikipedia.org] and this follow's Alan's son. Tron: Legacy follows Flynn's son. The game is even called Tron 2.0, which would mean it is the direct sequel. I guess with movie sequels and not counting other media this is Tron 2, but come on, this is Tron we are talking about here, it makes sense that one of its sequels is a video game.

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