Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tron 2.0

Jeff Bridges won a well-deserved Oscar last Sunday and I was very excited for him, but I think I'm even more excited to see him back on the big screen reprising the very first role I saw him in. That's right, they're making a sequel to Tron. Yep, that Tron.

Directed by Joseph Kosinsky (with original helmer Steven Lisberger onboard as a producer), Tron Legacy is due to hit theaters this December with all the IMAX and 3-D trimmings, and Disney is already hatching big plans for sequels, a TV series, and merchandising, merchandising, merchandising!

I don't know if a Tron sequel quite qualifies as a "hell freezing over" moment, but it's pretty darn close. The 1982 original, with Bridges as a computer programmer digitized into a computer society and forced to compete in gladiator-style video games with fellow "programs" against the evil "Master Control," is one of those movies so inextricably linked to my childhood that I can't ever hope to be objective about it (for some context, I began preschool with a Tron backpack slung over my shoulder).

Though the studio hung high hopes on the film's initial release, box office returns were less than they'd hoped and that was that. While it maintained a steady cult following over the years (with Roger Ebert in particular praising it as an overlooked masterpiece), it took a generation of '80s kids like me to grow up before Tron could be elevated from punchline into viable property. Sure, it might be thirty years late in coming, but in our post-Avatar world, it looks like the rest of the world has finally caught up. As far as first volleys go, this teaser sure sets things on the right foot.

(Pay special attention for a shot of Bridges de-aged to his 1970s self through some digital sleight-of-hand.)

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