When you look back and look at Tron now after the debut of AVATAR and all the CGI blockbusters out there then it doesn’t look like much. But if you think of the time it was created and respect the vision it is trying to convey then this is one amazing film.
Tron debuted in 1982. The home video games were just seeing a resurgence with the debut of Pac-Man and Space Invaders in 1980 and Ms Pac-Man in 1981. Atari was just exploding into the home game market and video games were quickly taking over pop culture.
Tron was really the very first “video game” movie. Director Steven Lisberger got the idea back in 1977 when he played his first game of PONG. Originally he envisioned the film as a completely CGI animated movie with human actor performed bookends. But due to the technology of the time, Tron turned into more of a hybrid than Lisberger realized.
Lisberger needed $10-12 million to make his movie but Disney didn’t believe in the project so Lisberger had to make a style demo to show what the film would look like. The executives were impressed but didn’t think much would come of the project.
The movie itself is sort of a mixture of 80s Big Brother paranoia, excelerating technology and an explosion of pop culture. It predated Matthew Broderick’s WarGames by a year and you could say was also the first computer hacker movie.
I have seen the movie at least 10 times now and the only thing that gets me about the movie is how the first 30 minutes are just so slow. Oh and one small little inside thing I noticed rewatching the movie was that Pac-Man actually makes a cameo in the film. Did you catch it?
After the Star Wars showed the importance for video games and action figures based on films, Disney teamed with Midway Entertainment, who brought Pac-Man to the US and would later create such hits as Rampage and Mortal Kombat, for a Tron video game. The game would be four games in one based on key elements of the movie: light-cycles, tanks and two games similar to PONG. There was supposed to be a fifth game featuring disc dueling, which eventually became Discs of Tron a year after the film.
Tron the game was one of the best movie-based games of that era or ever. Anyone remember the awful ET videogame? I remember spending countless quarters on this game.
Now with the video game industry reviling and in some ways exceeding the movie business, it makes sense that Disney would want to go back to the world of Tron. The Blu-Ray will debut in November and in December a new Tron film.
Tron Legacy is set to hit theatres on December 17. The new film finds Kevin Flynn’s son (Garrett Hedlund) going on a quest into the world of Tron to find his father (Jeff Bridges). What he finds is a twisted and darker version then when his father was there last. Could his father be in charge of this new world or is he a prisoner too? Disney hopes to turn the nearly 30 year old concept into a franchise as it already has a third film being scripted.
The new film is directed by John Kosinski, who gave some of the most riveting Gears of War and Halo ads. For me it is one of my most anticipated of the year! Long live Tron!