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Tron: Legacy – Director talks about the story, soundtrack and 3D

Posted by LiveFor on January 21, 2010


Tron: Legacy is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund – Friday Night Lights, Four Brothers), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges – The Dude), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the digital world of Tron where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant Quorra (Olivia Wilde – House), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey of escape across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.

 

Greetings, Program! MTV News spoke to director Joseph Kosinski, about his work on the sequel to one of my faves, the Disney’s 1982 cult classic, Tron. The first film starred Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, a software engineer who is digitized and imprisoned in a computer mainframe by an evil computer program and compelled, along with a number of other programs, to do battle with this evil program and its minions for control of the computer system.

It is so good that Tron: Legacy is a sequel and not just a reboot to that classic film. It is going to be in 3D, but not in the same way that Avatar was:

Our approach is not like “Avatar,” which I think is 3-D from the first shot to the last. Ours is sort of a “Wizard of Oz” approach. Ninety-eight percent of the 3-D is in the world of “Tron.” The 3-D really starts once we get into the Tron world.

It’s a combination of technologies that Zemeckis has been using in terms of the completely digital motion-capture of a character and for the live-action camera system. We used a camera developed by James Cameron’s company. We used a newer generation of camera than the one used on “Avatar.” They built it specifically for us.

I love the fact that they are using technology based on James Cameron’s stuff, but the next generation. That fits in with the whole premise of the sequel as well. The other big movie thing at the moment is IMAX. However, as this is a digital film then the usual IMAX cameras would not be suitable.

We did not shoot anything with an IMAX camera, because it uses film, and since we were shooting in 3-D, we used two digital cameras. That being said, we are doing an IMAX version. What I am considering doing now is finishing four or five sections of the film in a tall format – not letterbox – and in an IMAX theater, the black bars at the top and bottom of the frame will disappear and it will become a full-screen sequence, which should be really cool. I think IMAX will be the way to see this movie.

It is a pity that there are not more IMAX cinemas around. The most important aspect for fans of the original is of course the plot to the sequel. The fact that Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner (he was TRON in the original) have returned for it hopefully means that it is going to be something special.

The focus was always to serve the story we are telling. To include Bruce Boxleitner is not at all a cameo or stunt casting. He is integral to the story we’re trying to tell, which is why he’s in it. We’ve taken the events of the first movie as historical facts. In our story, Kevin Flynn emerged from his first experience as CEO of ENCOM and actually released the Tron video game based on his experiences in the first movie. ENCOM has become the most innovative, most successful, most forward-thinking digital company in the world as of 1989. There are fun references to parts of the first film. Sam Flynn [Garrett Hedlund], in searching for his father, has to retrace his steps and comes upon clues and places that we visited in the first film, like Flynn’s Arcade. Even in the world of Tron itself, a lot of vehicles and sequences have evolved. We’ll get to see how the disc game has changed, how the light cycle battle has changed. We get to see the new version of these iconic sequences. Things have gotten bigger and a bit out of control.

Jeff is playing two characters. He’s playing Kevin Flynn, the character from the original film, and he’s playing Clu, the avatar that Kevin Flynn created in the 1980s. I’d say he’s Clu 2. There was a Clu in the first film who looked like Jeff but was very simple in terms of his abilities. He’s very stiff. Clu 2 is a second incarnation of Kevin’s avatar. He doesn’t only look like Jeff, but he can think like him too. So it’s a whole new level of artificial intelligence.

All in all it sounds like it should be one hell of an adventure and it is going to look absolutely stunning.

Finally Kosinski chatted about getting Daft Punk to do the soundtrack for the film

Rather than going with a traditional film composer, I wanted to try something fresh and different. I set up a meeting with Daft Punk. We met for pancakes at the 101 Coffee Shop in L.A. one morning. These guys take “Tron” very seriously. Obviously, “Tron” was a huge influence on them. It was almost like they were interviewing me to make sure that I was going to hold up to the “Tron” legacy. But the more we talked, we realized that creatively, we were totally synced up. I’ve been working on it with them for over a year and a half. I don’t know of a movie where you’re working on the soundtrack months before you start filming. The level of integration between the music and the film is incredibly strong.

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