Tron: Legacy is a 2010 American science fiction action film directed by Joseph Kosinski, in his feature directorial debut, from a screenplay written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, based on a story by Horowitz, Kitsis, Brian Klugman, and Lee Sternthal. It is a sequel to the 1982 film Tron, whose director Steven Lisberger returned to produce. The cast includes Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their roles as Kevin Flynn and Alan Bradley, respectively, as well as Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, James Frain, Beau Garrett, and Michael Sheen. The story follows Flynn's adult son Sam, who responds to a message from his long-lost father and is transported into a virtual reality called "the Grid," where Sam, his father, and the algorithm Quorra must stop the malevolent program Clu from invading the real world.
Interest in creating a sequel to Tron arose after the film garnered a cult following. After much speculation, Walt Disney Pictures began a concerted effort in 2005 to devise Tron: Legacy, with the hiring of Klugman and Sternthal as writers. Kosinski was recruited as director two years later. As he was not optimistic about Disney's Matrix-esque approach to the film, Kosinski filmed a high-concept, which he used to conceptualize the universe of Tron: Legacy and convince the studio to greenlight the film. Principal photography took place in Vancouver over 67 days, in and around the city's central business district. Most sequences were shot in 3D and ten companies were involved with the extensive visual effects work. Chroma keying and other techniques were used to allow more freedom in creating effects. Daft Punk composed the musical score, incorporating orchestral sounds with their trademark electronic music.
Tron: Legacy premiered in Tokyo on November 30, 2010, and was theatrically released in North America on December 17, 2010. Disney vigorously promoted the film across multiple media platforms, including merchandising, consumer products, theme parks, and advertising. Upon its release, the film received mixed reviews from film critics, who praised the visual effects, production design, and soundtrack, but criticized the character development, cast performance, and story. The film grossed $400 million during its worldwide theatrical run, making it a box office success. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Editing at the 83rd Academy Awards but lost to Inception. Like its predecessor, Tron: Legacy has also been described as a cult film. In 2020, it was announced that a sequel was in development.
Garrett Hedlund as Samuel "Sam" Flynn, a primary shareholder of ENCOM who investigates his father's disappearance, is transported onto the Grid himself. Hedlund won a "Darwinian casting process" which tested hundreds of actors, being chosen for having the "unique combination of intelligence, wit, humor, look and physicality" that the producers were looking for in Flynn's son. The actor trained hard to do his stunts, which included jumping over cars and copious wire and harness work.
Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, the former CEO of ENCOM International and creator of the popular arcade game Tron based on his own experiences in ENCOM's virtual reality, who disappeared in 1989 while developing "a digital frontier that will reshape the human condition."
Bridges also portray Clu (Codified Likeness Utility), a more advanced incarnation of Flynn's original computer-hacking program, designed as an "exact duplicate of himself" within the Grid, via digital makeup and voiceover, while John Reardon portrays Clu physically.
Olivia Wilde as Quorra, an "isomorphic algorithm," adept warrior, and confidante of Kevin Flynn in the Grid. Flynn refers to her as his "apprentice" and has imparted volumes of information to her regarding the world outside of the Grid, which she longs to experience. She is shown to have a love of human literature, particularly the writings of Jules Verne, and plays Go with Flynn. She comments that her 'aggressive style' is usually foiled by Flynn's patience. Wilde describes Quorra as akin to Joan of Arc. Her hairstyle was influenced by singer Karen O. Wilde added that although "[Quorra] could have just been another slinky, vampy temptress," it was important for her to appeal to both men and women, and that character tried to avoid the typical female lead by having a naiveté and childlike innocence adequate for such an "evolving and learning organism." Quorra's action scenes led Wilde to work out and train in martial arts.
Boxleitner also portrays Tron / Rinzler, a security program originally developed by Bradley to monitor ENCOM's Master Control Program and later reassigned by Flynn to defend the Grid. He was overpowered and re-purposed by Clu as a masked command program wielding an identity disk that splits into two, in flashback sequences, via the same treatment as Bridges' younger self for Clu. Anis Cheurfa, a stunt actor, portrayed Rinzler, while Boxleitner provided the dialogue. Rinzler is named after author and Lucasfilm Executive Editor J.W. Rinzler.
Michael Sheen as Zuse / Castor, a flamboyant supermodel program that runs the End of Line Club at the top of the tallest tower in the system. Sheen describes his performance as containing elements of performers such as David Bowie, Joel Grey from Cabaret, and a bit of Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Show.
James Frain as Jarvis, an administration program who serves as Clu's right-hand man and chief intelligence officer. Frain had to shave his head, bleach his eyebrows white, and wear make-up. The refraction on Jarvis' helmet led Frain to walk in a "slightly squinty, blind stagger" which the actor felt was helpful to get him into character. Frain described Jarvis as "a fun, comic character that's a little off-beat," considering him "more human, in terms of being fallible and absurd" compared to the zanier Castor.
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