Until today, no film had ever showed up at Comic-Con for three years running. TRON: Legacy has now set that record. And while it’s the movie’s third appearance, it was the first time Con-goers got to see footage from the film. The first year, the movie blew minds with 2D test footage of a light cycle battle. How good was that footage? It’s the reason TRON: Legacy even happened. And while we spent the next year regaining our mind shards, the following year they showed us the same test footage but in 3D, blasting our minds apart once more.
I’m sure you can guess what happened this time around when they showed us eight minutes of the film and a new trailer. While the Q&As were rough, the new footage was amazing. And then we got to be part of an incredible experiment that may have yours truly and about 5,999 being heard in the movie. Read on to learn about the panel that people will be raving about for the rest of the Con.
Patton Oswalt hosted the panel for the second year in a row. I’m a huge fan of the guy and his jokes were fantastic. Before the cast and crew came on stage, we got to see a very brief documentary of TRON in popular culture. The panel included director Joseph Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, TRON creator Steven Lisberger, and stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, and Jeff Bridges. Actually, it stars Jeff Bridges twice. He plays elderly Kevin Flynn then there’s “Clu”, who hasn’t aged and is Bridges as a 35-year-old man. Clu is incredible. I don’t want to jump the gun, but from what I saw today, it looks like they’ve cracked the technology to de-age actors digitally.
But back to Patton’s Q&A with the cast, we learned:
- They filmed on the latest 3D cameras (or at least they were the newest at the time), the Sony F35 Camera.
- Suits are skin-tight but practically illuminated. Hedlund and Wilde talked about their months of martial arts training, but how they had to balance it with the restrictive nature of the costumes.
- Bridges said it was interesting playing against a 35-year-old version of himself.
To be honest, this section dragged on and most of the answers were stock and/or dull. But then we got to the footage…
“This can’t be happening… Oh, God. It is happening.”
Sam Flynn (Hedlund) utters these lines as a giant recognizer captures him and he finds himself among programs. He’s chosen for gladiatorial combat, but he doesn’t realize it at first. When he’s given his armor, I could tell that Kosinski wasn’t playing it safe with this movie. The women who strip Sam of his clothes and provide him with his armor are sexy but eerie. The way they walk is particularly noteworthy since it’s not sultry, but you get the sense that it’s what a machine would perceive as sexy.
Then we see some badass action scenes. It goes by fast but we see De-rezzing now looks like people shattering. Also: we’ve previously seen light cycles and even light cars. Today, we got to see a light-plane.
And the 3D? Spectacular. It works so well because it takes you into the world. It’s like Avatar, but I think it looks much better; in part because it’s using newer technology, but mostly because I just prefer the aesthetic.
But the best part of the entire panel is when we were asked to participate in recording crowd audio for the film. Technicians from Skywalker Sound were around Hall H. We were given instructions on the screens in a kind of “follow-the-bouncing-ball” thing about what to say and the timing to say it. For instance, we kicked off with chanting “Disk Wars!” Then we were asked to stomp, to cheer, and then my personal favorite: chanting “DEE REZ!” We were asked to remain silent in between instructions (although the instructions were written with humorous snark so there was scattered giggling). There’s no guarantee that they’ll use this in the movie, but I’ll pretend like they will because I think the idea is so awesome. Also, we may have been a part of the Guinness World Record for most people directed at a time, but Kosinski didn’t sound too sure about that.
Then we were treated to some uncomfortable audience Q&A, although the first person at the mic asked a really good question about how Daft Punk got involved. Kosinski said that, not surprisingly, they’re big fans and actively expressed their interest in the sequel. Kosinski also says that their score for TRON: Legacy and that it’s a mix of “orchestral, granular, and electric.”
We wrapped up the panel (but not the presentation—read Germain’s coverage of what came next) with a look at the new TRON trailer. I would describe it to you, but you can check it out here. It didn’t disappoint and neither did this panel. It sets a very high bar and it’s only the second Hall H panel so far.
TRON: Legacy hits theaters on December 17th.
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