December 21st, 2010
11:09 AM ET

TRON: Legacy - How to Look 28 Years Younger

From Disney Motion Pictures

When I first saw the graphic theme for News Stream, it took about 10 seconds for me to think 'TRON', so it's hardly surprising that the team have been eagerly awaiting the neon-lit cyber-sequel to the 1982 classic. It seems other people shared our sense of anticipation too - 'TRON: Legacy' powered up for a number one box-office opening weekend, pulling in $43.6 million at theaters across the U.S. and Canada.

I'm yet to see the movie myself - it hasn't hit cinema screens in Hong Kong yet - but even from the trailers and the clips I've seen there are plenty of water-cooler moments to talk about: the light-bikes, the killer frisbees...

But the thing that got our geek senses tingling the most: a Hollywood lesson in how to look 28 years younger. The idea of pitting a movie star against their younger self is nothing new, but 'TRON: Legacy' is the first to take the plunge. Thus Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges v.2010, is at war with Clu, played by Jeff Bridges v.1982, a digitally youthful chip off the old block.

Effects like that take a lot of work. According to 'TRON: Legacy' Animation Director Steve Preeg, Jeff Bridges started work with the animation team in mid-2008. They created a cast of his head, and digitally compared his face now with that in the original 1982 'TRON'. On set, Bridges had to shoot his scenes whilst wearing a helmet with four cameras mounted on it, and with hundreds of motion-capture dots attached to his face. As for the Clu you'll see on the silver screen, yes it's Jeff Bridges with a digital face-lift, but from the neck down, it's a younger body double.

Steve Preeg admits that following in the footsteps of 'TRON' was "very frightening".

"The entire industry that I work in owes its creation to 'TRON'", he told News Stream. "They were so cutting edge that they were disqualified from being nominated for Best Special Effects at the Oscars because using as computer was seen as cheating".

Check out more of our interview with Steve Preeg here:

As you might imagine, for some fans 'TRON: Legacy' is a must-see movie, and fans of the original film don't come much more devoted than Jay Maynard, otherwise known as internet sensation 'TRON guy'.

In a review for Wired.com, Maynard calls 'TRON: Legacy' "visually stunning, intellectually engaging, and emotionally exhausting". Apparently, it brought him to tears.

There's already talk of a third 'TRON' movie in the Disney pipeline. Who knows, maybe this one will feature Maynard.


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  1. Mário Silva

    "Tron Legacy" soundtrack to Disney's video-game,are one beautifully
    TECH EVOLUTION example of early '80s for MODERN BEAUTIFULLY symphonic backgrounds and others IMPORTANT APPLICATIONS. The London Philharmonic Orchestra is a example of electronic and computational graphic science and other Tech sucess.
    I invite you to search Nicolo Paganini – Violin Concerto in D major (1817) ,....por LindoroRossini ,....it's a Art and Tech dream ,...."flying"?
    ...remenbering CNN' Sparks,...( "secret " ? )....!!!...
    ...the best regards to you and CNN

    December 23, 2010 at 4:15 am | Reply
  2. Sunny

    Already seen d movie nd i loved it

    December 23, 2010 at 7:04 am | Reply
    • Anna

      That I can totally get bhnied. I personally wouldn't have minded a more mature story and feel that overall the movie could have been edgier, even though that's a strange thing to say about a movie that contains genocide. Which might have been part of the trouble frankly. There was a lot going on, but it was more implied than actually shown which is a terrible thing to do with a movie.Clu did horrible things. He didn't just kill Programs, which were artificially created, but the ISOs as well. Naturally occurring digital lifeforms, which brings into question the whole value of a life. But again these are all things that are implied and never explored.I will concede that the story in general was very Disney and was designed to be lowest common denominator, but that's something you have with just about any mainstream movie. That's what makes them mainstream. Though, it didn't make me enjoy what was presented any less. It may have also helped that I went in with very little in the way of expectations and was ready for it to completely suck I personally gauge movies on what they aim to be. Like how I have a positive opinion of Dukes of Hazard. I mean, really it's a movie based on Dukes of Hazard that stars Johnny Knoxville, you can't expect Shakespeare. 😉 Was it a good movie compared to something artistic and risky like Raising Arizona? Nope. Did I enjoy it as much well, no but I didn't mind it 😛

      March 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Victor

      The only two things this movie has to offer are The Music and The Visuals, in that order. I'm not sure how the film's story can be psaried in any way. The screenplay, to me, felt like it was written by a group of 14 year-olds who were obsessed with The Matrix but had no sense of story, tone, or exposition.Furthermore, the performance by the primary plastic/manufactured/robotic character, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) was a joke. There wasn't one moment in the entire movie that I believed he was in a locale that was as mesmorizing as the Grid appeared to the audience. This was probably due to the fact that he's a n00b when shooting with green screen.Speaking of characters. Quorra is a blatent ripoff of The Fifth Element s title character. Except, unlike Milla, I never felt connected to the immense importance of her being the Last Iso . Terrible, terrible, actress.Which brings me to my final point. And, I should reiterate, this is all my opinion. Everyone has the right to enjoy flat, terribly crafted, sci-fi films. I respect that. However, Tron: Legacy was not a sci-fi film. Blade Runner, Clockwork Orange, Children of Men, etc those are sci-fi films. This was a kung-fu fantasy film. Sadly, not a very good one. You want a good kung-fu fantasy film check out Kung-Fu Hustle.I wish I would've just listened to the Soundtrack. I enjoyed the visuals, but about as much as I enjoy the visuals in a good videogame.Merry X-Mas,Ant

      March 5, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
      • Francisco

        While i respect that the film may not have met many pelpoe's expectations It exceeded mine. The answer to what could change science, religion in the film i found to be great while not explained the best you need only think on it to see its importance. Clu's motivation for a perfect system was also great while full emotional dichotomy between the relationships of the flynns and clu was missed. It missed perfection sure but it was still great which is rather ironic.

        September 8, 2012 at 10:36 am |
      • Goli

        what der should have done was expnad on from the original Tron. lets see how Alan is doing after all these years with the Tron Program. lets see how technology is different from now to back in the 80 s. COME ON ( NOKIA and the IPAD MAKES A CAMEO in dis Movie )Overall..It is a respectable sequel. feels missing in plot points but I enjoyed what there gave me and i wouldn't mind seeing it again MATINEE..

        September 10, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  3. spence

    As a kid during the 80s, Tron was Nintendo and sci-fi rolled into an epic journey. " Tron Legacy" was a total let down. With mimimal 3D effects, dialog that actually may have been written by a computer, and cookie cutter story line, I wanted to revisit the original movie.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:16 am | Reply

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