There is more to the Daft Punk Tron: Legacy soundtrack than you’ve heard. During Collider’s Comic Con@Home “Directors on Directing” panel, which featured Robert Rodriguez, Colin Trevorrow and Joseph Kosinski discussing their craft, Collider’s Editor-in-chief Steve Weintraub asked if there was something that each filmmaker fought for that they’re particularly proud of. While Kosinksi prefaced his response by saying that he didn’t know if it was a fight, exactly, his answer was surprising: the decision to let French electronic duo Daft Punk (nee Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) score his sci-fi extravaganza Tron: Legacy. This feels even more shocking given that, in the near decade (!) since the film’s release, their score has been cemented as a modern classic.
“The idea of hiring a French electronic duo to do a major motion picture score, at the time, was concerning and required a lot of conversations on Tron,” Kosinski explained. “They quickly proved that they were up to the task and did a great job.”
At this point, Rodriguez chimed in, asking, “What did you say to convince them?” “It started with a conversation between me and Daft Punk about what we wanted to do,” Kosinski explained. “We very quickly learned that we both wanted a hybrid score of electronics and orchestra. I had been listening to their music for 10 or 15 years at that point and knew that their musicality had gone much deeper than your standard electronic music. We went to Disney. They agreed to meet every big composer in Los Angeles, and we were essentially going to do it as a partnership between them and Hans Zimmer or them and Alexandre Desplat.” It should be noted that this was still a somewhat nebulous time for the production, and for Daft Punk’s involvement, since they hadn’t officially been signed onto the project.
“They went and met everybody and after they had done their meetings around town, they said, ‘We think we can do it on our own, with an orchestrator.’ They did a couple of demos and Disney said, ‘Alright, let’s give it a shot,’” Kosinski continued. “We started very early. The music for that film was written while we were shooting, so I was able to play it on set while we were shooting the movie, which is a very cool thing that I [haven’t been] able to do since. It was always there and around us while we were making the movie, which was really cool.” It should be noted that their orchestrator was Joseph Trapanese, a composer in his own right, who went on to create the music for the terrific animated Tron series Tron: Uprising (which you can watch right now on Disney+) and served in a similar capacity when Kosinski worked with another French electronic artist, M83 (real name: Anthony Gonzalez), for the score to his next film, Oblivion (an experience that was considerably less fun).
Steve then pressed Kosinski about a potential treasure trove of additional Daft Punk music that was left off the various soundtrack albums that Disney has released over the years. (There’s also stuff like “Computerized,” a single with Daft Punk and Jay-Z that was supposed to accompany the end credits but was scrapped by nervous execs which you can listen to below) “I can neither confirm nor deny that there may be some incredible music that we weren’t able to fit in the movie,” Kosinski said. “Someday it would be nice to figure out some way to share that. Disney needs some other revenue streams right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we try to do that at some point. That’d be great.” Yes, it really would be great.
While there have been various configurations of the soundtrack, and some retailer-exclusive bonus tracks (the great “Sea of Simulation” track was a bonus track from Amazon, etc.), there has yet to be an expanded soundtrack featuring cuts that didn’t make it into the movie. Honestly, putting the Jay-Z track on a soundtrack would probably be enough to make it crack the top 10. With the tenth anniversary coming up, it’d be nice to finally get the definitive version of the soundtrack, collecting all the retailer-exclusive bonus tracks, music that didn’t make it into the movie, and “Computerized.”
Watch what Kosinski had to say about Daft Punk and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack below.