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An Interview with Steven Lisberger - TRON 2.0 -- Prepare To Drool!!!!

Hey folks, Harry here... Our good friends at Filter Magazine, the same folks that gave us that early peek at the David Carradine interview about KILL BILL all those ages ago, have come through with a friggin fantastic interview with Steven Lisberger, which as every good geek worth their weight in styrofoam can attest, was the genius behind TRON - One of the greatest films of all time (and fuck you if you don't agree!) Ahem. Anyway, the way too lucky Kashy Khaledi landed the interview and managed to pry all sorts of stuff out of Steven - and the bits that he told Kashy off the record... I somehow sense a dinner being bought for Kashy soon... Hmmmm... Here ya go...

After the success of Disney’s 20th anniversary DVD re-release, and amidst both speculation about a sequel and renewed interest for the original, Tron creator Steven Lisberger has cautiously come forward for this interview. Although I promised him that I wouldn’t bring up the sequel, I couldn’t resist. Since Disney has apparently enforced a gag order on Lisberger, its distributor will not appreciate any leaks about what will assuredly become one of next year’s biggest sequels. Rumor has it that Jeff Bridges will reprise his role as Flynn, the insouciant video game pioneer with the knack to hack. And after our discussions about the current turmoil of tyrannical creatures from the crème de la crème of the corporate hierarchy, I find it hard to believe he won’t make the issue a centerpiece in the sequel’s plot, given the background of the original. Additionally, Lisberger has made it known that one of the central themes of the follow-up will involve cyberspace, some 20 years into the future. Lisberger will ultimately revisit the origins of his glowing, intra-computer megalopolis and the subsequent effect it had on computer-generated filmmaking, video game culture, and the prophetic nemesis between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs that is mirrored in the original film’s plot. One thing is for certain: After talking to Lisberger off the record, he has no interest in simply rehashing the original. Prepare yourself for the return of Tron and all of its eerily accurate prophecies.

How influential were the films THX 1138 and 2001: A Space Odyssey on subjects that deal with the tyrannical nature of man, and consequently, the continuing debate of man vs. machine?

The strongest influence, in that regard, was 2001. You have to bear in mind that during that time, the ‘70s, or the late ‘70s, everyone perceived computers as the enemy. They were still mainframe. People didn’t have PCs and they didn’t know it could be personalized. The only thing that was being personalized was their information and it existed in a computer in that sense. In terms of the other films that were out, there was an attempt made when we were working on Tron to try to get at least as far out as 2001. THX 1138 wasn’t a strong influence, but certainly Star Wars was an influence, in terms of the mythical aspects. I was trying to think of what else influenced us in terms of man vs. machine…

How about Philip K. Dick, in terms of the science fiction writers at the time that were prevalent? Was he instrumental in influencing Tron?

It really wasn’t so much about the sci-fi of the past as it was the excitement of what was happening at the moment. And again, that was experienced by us exploring who was behind the technology at the time. We first started doing research on CG and video games, and then we started to meet the people who were dedicated to personal computers or computer graphics. That was really exciting, in that there was a face to the technology. These people were cutting edge. They were pioneers and that inspired the story about those people working in that world. And those people, at the time, had an attitude that their goal was to put technology into the hands of everyone. There was very much a sense that IBM was Big Brother, but we didn’t know it at the time. Xerox Park was where all the research was being done. We visited that center. We didn’t know that Bill Gates was writing the ultimate code to implant into the IBM system, which was then going to give birth to the PC, or at least make the PC accessible. So, at the end of Tron, when all those towers light up in the final scene, that’s really what it’s about. We were so idealistic. We thought that not only could the negative aspects of the technology be overcome, but that this was going to be a brave new world, and once everyone got plugged in, it would be the level of idealism needed to accomplish it. Technology, we felt, was going to be infinite. Somewhere down the line, technology became corrupted. In fact, it was very difficult to get the film companies to be interested in computers and CG. There is that great story that after we did Tron, that year, we weren’t even nominated for an Academy Award for special effects. When we made an inquiry as to why that might be, they said, “Well we didn’t nominate you because you cheated. You used computers.” It was literally a different world back then.

When Tron had reached its peak, arcade culture had reached its peak. The games weren’t exactly socially redeeming, but there wasn’t carnage. Today the arcade is all but obsolete. Do you feel that the current proliferation of über home video game systems are promoting violent, anti-social behavior?

The answer to that, and I’ve seen it first hand, is that it’s endemic of the whole culture. I have a 16-year-old son. I did everything I could to take the power away from the games, but never his access to the games. I read him a lot of really horrific Greek and Roman stories and mythology, just so he would know that video games weren’t really the ones to invent all of this horror. If you can put it in a historical perspective, then it has less impact. The problem with the ‘60s was that we were being told that we were as far out as anyone had ever been, and the adults couldn’t deal with it because it was just not true. In the 1890s, the people in that generation, the missionary generation, they had gone through all this utopia and had gotten equally far out, or even more far out. If some adult was smart enough to say, “This has all been done before,” it would have taken some of the wind out of our sails, which would have been good. Instead, adults acted befuddled. The worst attitude is the “I just can’t believe it” or “These kids today, why can’t they be perfect like we were?” It’s the job of the adults to just put it in perspective, and the kids are actually really good about that.

When you initially wrote Tron, was it too graphic? Did Disney make you go back and re-work some of the script?

No. If anything, at the time, the studio was paranoid about its reputation for being overly cute or kitsch. They were more worried about things like the Bit being too cute, or what not, in comparison to things being too violent.

Remind me. What was the Bit?

It was just a bit—the increment that we could get out of computers at the time.

The computer’s equivalent to an atom?

Exactly. A zero and a one. A positive or a negative.

What were some of your favorite video games during the Tron era?

The most popular game we had on the set was Battlezone—the tank game. At the time of the live action shooting, Jeff Bridges held the record at 100,000 [points] and we were all struggling to get to that number. Then he left after the live action shooting and I kept playing through post-production for six months and my final score was somewhere around five million. So, that was interesting.

When you got together with your team of animators and made your prototype of what would actually become Tron in the film, was it almost divine?

People used to tell the Wright brothers that it was going to be impossible to fly because the human mind couldn’t deal with going faster than 30 or 40 miles an hour. Intentionally, that was the quest, to try and get the best group of people together, the most talented bunch of people in one category and have everybody push the envelope together. It was sort of like an ensemble, like a band, and then out of that came something bigger than any of us had anticipated, because when the first frames came back, we were all pretty much blown away. We were the ones who were generating it and it was a problem for us—from the standpoint that the graphics at the time were capable of being so powerful, in terms of color and complexity—that we worried about burning the audience out. We worked really hard to try to make something that had the intensity that we were capable of, but at the same time could go for 75 minutes. And I think we did a pretty good job of that, considering the audience was younger and open-minded. I think that it pretty much blew the cerebellum out of a lot of people that came in thinking that computers were the enemy. At the same time, they got this avalanche of art and a bind with technology, which they never expected. People couldn’t quite reconcile the fact that they were at a Disney movie.

As far as the backlight composites, is that something that you think you’re going to work with again in Tron 2?

Well, no, because all of that gets done digitally nowadays. The fact is, that no movie will ever be made the way that Tron was made. As technical as it was, there was an incredible amount of hand art. We were still dealing with paint and plastic and film, and those things were all trying to meld with what the look of cyber was at the time.

Do you think it’s going to be a lot easier to make Tron 2?

Yeah. I think five guys could make Tron 2 in their garage. It would look pretty much the same as the original Tron. It’s just in terms of how far you want to go in pushing the envelope again.

Without getting into any details, because I know you can’t talk about it, how far along are you guys with Tron 2?

There’s been three scripts written and I’m pretty happy with where things are at now.

Did you write the script this time?

[I wrote] the first draft and then Richard Jeffries wrote two drafts. I worked with him on those. I’m pretty pleased with the potential of what we’ve got now. One other thing that is interesting now, looking back at the original Tron, is that we didn’t mention that a big part of the storyline was the fact that the head of the company was corrupt. It had to do with corporate shenanigans, so in that sense…

Perfect timing.

In that sense, Tron was prophetic too.

Are you allowed to talk about cast members at all?

No. They don’t want me to talk about all that stuff.

Moby’s live show has a grand finale where he takes a beam of light to the head and arcs his arm in a similar fashion to the grand finale of Tron. It’s an obvious Tron lift, if you will. Especially since Moby is a part of the rave culture, how do you feel about all these ravers that look at Tron as their virtual glow sticks? Are you annoyed or flattered?

Of course I’m flattered. Who wouldn’t be? Anytime a work like this can go from one generation to the next, it means something. That’s great. A major accomplishment. So many of the films that are being made today are going to end up in that bin at Blockbuster, where hundreds of tapes are priced at $3.99. I walk in there with my son and it’s like a compost heap. And my son says, “Just think, Dad. All of these people, when they were making these movies, thought they were big shots.

What do you have to say to your new generation of fans?

You know, there is actually nostalgia attached to Tron. It was the seminal film for Generation X at the time. What it represented has just become a major part of their lives The interesting thing about the computer world and technology is that it’s gone through all those phases in record time.

In 20 years!

Yeah, in 20 years. Now it’s sort of firing on all cylinders at the same time and we’re waiting to see a new generation embrace it and figure out a way to take it to the next step. I think that’s one of things to talk about in the period we’re in right now. It just seems like we’re just piling manure on, hoping that something is going to sprout through this and we’re going to see new directions coming. So, that’s why a lot of this stuff is crashing. That’s why AOL has peaked and that’s why the Telecom industry is crashing. It’s just time for the whole thing to come back down and be re-born through the next generation.

Will Tron 2, at least story-wise, reflect on all of the things you’re talking about now, as far as corporate corruption concerned? Are you going to take it to the next level?

I can’t keep talking about Tron 2. They’re going to bust my chops. I mean, they’ll come down on me. They’ve come down on me twice on that already.

Just a little more?


Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 3, 2002, 7:32 a.m. CST

    tron is a brilliant film

    by SimpsonsQuoteMan

    tron is an amazing film, a truly astonishing film in many many ways. and yes, it is also very. very good, and i'm not saying 'good' like todays films where morons walk out of a cinema and say 'mib 2 was good' or 'blade was good', tron is a film that can be dissected and analysed forever, just as any work of art can.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Bastard Disney, let the man talk!

    by TheHappyChicken

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 8 a.m. CST

    You're right, I drooled.

    by Horseflesh

    Jesus Deep Fried Christ, I love me some Tron.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 8:01 a.m. CST


    by thx777b


  • Sept. 3, 2002, 8:15 a.m. CST

    There already is a TRON 2...

    by Human Tornado

    ... and it's called THE MATRIX!

  • I somehow imagine "Tron 2.0" (whatever the title may be) to be an explosion of color, ... perhaps depending on the environment our main character(s) are in. (Anyone out there used to watch the t.v. show "Reboot"???) With today's incredible variation of video games and the speedy excelleration of technology, etc... people can really let their imaginations fly with the sequel to a film like "Tron". I'm curious. Will it be obvious what is computer generated and what is not? Or will it have more in common with "The Matrix"???

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 8:34 a.m. CST

    whoa, there

    by simon72

    Nostalgia's a powerful force, but is TRON really that good? Yes, the graphics were revolutionary at the time, but it's still got a pretty perfunctory plot and almost non-existent characterisation. And the problem with the sequel will be in terms of visual design - when CG can now pretty much replicate reality, how do you differentiate between the world inside the computer and the world outside? If you don't, then, yes, you basically have The Matrix without the king fu (not such a bad idea, actually).

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Tron's Deadly Discs

    by Son Of Batboy

    I found my old Atari 2600 with woodgrain finish in a closet and have been playing this game for weeks. It's damn addictive but oh the joy. Good to see this project hasn't been dumped on the scrapheap. What's this gag order BS? Sounds like Disney owns his ass. Maybe they're the new Master Control. That bit about Jeff Bridges coming back sounds cool. I hope it happens. How can Tron 2 be coming out next year if it's still in script stage? This thing is at least two years away.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Moby? He can get stoned by Opie!

    by rev_skarekroe

    What the hell does that mean, anyway? sk

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 10:15 a.m. CST

    The first time that I saw Tron...

    by MisterE

    ...was in '84 or '85, and I saw it while trippin' on some really good acid. The first viewing was really weird because the tape was in LP (4-hour) mode, and the cheap rental VCR we were using only played in SP (2-hour) mode. The VCR somehow managed to decode both the video and audio in spite of the format mismatch, but this resulted in a very fast play that was very hard to handle in the mental shape that I was in. We had a friend bring over a better VCR later that night, and I was then able to view the movie at its correct speed. Well, I haven't tripped in over 10 years (and don't have any plans to drop again any time soon), but I am looking forward to Tron 2.0. Hopefully, they will have a decent concept and script for this project. E.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Tron 3.0

    by Juggernaut125

    The Matrix is actually more like a Tron 3.0 if you think about it. 2.0 could be more like the evolution of cyberspace from the original film, but man is still in control. Because of technological advances images are more realistic than ever but not yet up to the supposed realism of the Matrix. I'm thinking 2.0 is sort of a mid-point.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 10:58 a.m. CST

    TRON in 60 Seconds.

    by Village Idiot

    I first saw TRON back in '82 when I was eleven, and thought it was fan-freaking-tastic. I saw it on TV in the nineties and I was surprised to see how well it held up. I was supposed to go out that night, but I really wanted to sit there and watch it instead. I've watched it a few times since then, and I think it's a great movie. For me, it works on the adventure level. It's an ALICE IN WONDERLAND/WIZARD OF OZ story driven by Jeff Bridge's cheeky charisma. I'd be curious to re-enter the TRON surreal plane of existence, and see how things have changed.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by MisterE

    ...I'm afraid that I do not understand your point. E.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 11:09 a.m. CST

    MalwynOY2k, a correction...

    by MisterE

    ...I'' afrai' tha' ' d' no' understan' you' poin'. '.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 1:17 p.m. CST

    MalwynOY2k, you don't get the point ...

    by MonsterZeroOne

    "Tron went down so well thanks to a generation paranoid about these weird computer things." It was the computer-paranoid older generation that did not want anything to do with TRON ... anyone remember that this was a box-office disapointment? It only grossed $33 million, about enough to break even. Only on home video and in the video acrades did it hit big. It was the computer-happy videogame addicts and chiphead youngsters that made TRON the popular classic it is today (the Intellivision and Midway video games were successful despite the low box office). Today's audience is more primed than ever for a new take on TRON, esp. if they keep the topical, satirical elements intact. TRON correctly predicted the revolutionary freedoms of personal computers and the Internet at a time when the world was still ruled by the mainframe, all thanks to a few chipheads working out of their garages (the first Apple was constructed at home out of parts that Steve Jobs had "borrowed" from his gig at video game maker Atari). A new TRON will provide a chance to comment on how far we've come since then. "Nostalgists will get a kick, but the kids largely won't care" ... nonsense. Every kid I know loves the movie, and looks forward to 2.0. Oh, and if your face-slapping instructions to MisterE are some kind of high-handed moralizing about the evils of drug use, keep it to yourself. He said it was a long time ago and he doesn't do it anymore. He's just telling a story that happens to illustrate TRON's cult status as a "drug" film due to it's trippy visuals, much as 2001 was 15 years before. That's just a fact of history, not an endorsement. Get a life.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 1:19 p.m. CST

    "tron is a film that can be dissected and analysed forever, just

    by Three Quarks

    So that distinguishes it from any other film how?

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Tron Was A Truly Original and Groundbreaking Film That Took A Tr

    by NoCureForFools

    and it is absolutely brilliant. brilliant. it still looks amazing, it still holds a deep fascination for me. the Matrix, on the other hand, looked stale and tired when it was first released. it was a whole hog rip-off of Tron, it was humorless, bland and overimportant; it had no heart, no soul no reason to exist. the gimicky effects had already been seen in several car commercials, HK films and videogames. in short: it was derivative, boring and ugly. it sucked. Tron, on the other hand, still fills me with wonder. it had real heart, and the amount of work that went into the film is truly staggering. it boggles my mind that the film did so (relatively) poorly when it was released, while the Matrix was such a huge hit. i guess because, at the time, Tron was a visionary film whereas the Matrix was pedestrian and easy for teh Lowest Common Denominator to understand. i can't wait to see what they will do with the Tron 2.0. i don't know if it will retain the same fascination as the originals, but my assumption is that it will be good... certainly better than the Matrix Revulsions and Regurgitations or whatever the hell they are called.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Ummm, did we see the same film?

    by Aquafresh

    I saw Tron on its original run in an empty theater in New Hampshire with my deadbeat dad. I was 12, and despite the cool visuals, I kind of thought it sucked. Well, recently I decided to give it another chance on DVD, and felt pretty much the same way. I mean, the geek in me can enjoy it viscerally, but plot wise and character wise, it is an abomination. Its filled with techno-speak that no kid could possibly follow, especially a 12 year old in the early eighties. (This was the target audience at the time...and the reason it bombed.) The plot is largely indecipherable (sp?) and the characters do not connect with the viewer on any level. But, this is just my opinion... no offense Harry, or anyone else.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Hot Pursuit 2.0!!!

    by Josef K

    Lisberger should direct a sequel to his '87 smash "Hot Pursuit" with John Cusack. Wow, aren't we all dying to see his continuing adventures stalking girlfriends to tropical locales?

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 2:02 p.m. CST

    ahhh such great memories

    by Darken Rahl

    I saw Tron when it was originally released in the early eighties, and I thought it was just about the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Sure, my parents had NO clue what it was all about, but us kids KNEW at an instinctive level that this was an important film. Remember the first time you saw Star Wars ? (if you were old enough to see it the first time out ). That's what seeing Tron felt like, but for me even more so. As for Tron 2 ? I am in two minds about this. On the one hand I am thinking "hell yeah bring it on !!" and on the other hand I am thinking leave it alone, don't spoil our memories of a truly great movie. After all, we have already had Lucas rape our childhood with his godawful Phantom Crap and Attack of the Turds, we don't need another symbol of our youth destroyed.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Rev Skarkroe

    by Josef K

    "Moby, you can get stomped by Obie" ... Eminem is referring to Obie Trice, a rapper on his label and in the song "Without Me"

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Apocalypse Tron

    by deathwish6

    I heard the sequel was going to be like Apocalypse Now but with Jeff Bridges as the Kurt character, and in a computer instead of Viet Nam (no shit Sherlock). Sounds superb to me.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Thank you Josef K

    by rev_skarekroe

    That makes more sense than a bizarre Andy Griffith reference. sk

  • "Gotta love this neon, brother."

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Tron is utter shite and fuck you if you don't agree!

    by MrLimey

    Drool? Drool? Drool? over what?OVER WHAT?

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 3:05 p.m. CST


    by MonsterZeroOne

    I would argue that the term "trippin'" would stand as a late-'70s/early-'80s colloquialism rather than an bona fide example of bad grammar (as in "Keep on Truckin'," etc.). In any case, your point was not made clear, except that it was mean-spirited in nature. I never said TRON was my favorite film (the flaws in storytelling and character development are many) and I never said I was a "chiphead"; I was merely elaborating on the film's cultural impact. It was the first film to expound on the notion of "cyberspace" well before William Gibson coined the term, complete with anthropomorphic avatars representing human users in the Real World (suddenly THE MATRIX doesn't seem so revolutionary in concept, does it?). Flaws and all, it remains a groundbreaking film. By the way, it's not that you expressed your opinion ... it's that you acted like a jerk doing it. Now slap yourself in the face.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 3:16 p.m. CST

    TRON = Camp Classic

    by Wino-Forever

    Strictly in terms of aesthetics, it's a minor work of genius, but let's not get carried away calling it a Great Movie. I doubt anyone enjoys TRON for its sharply-written dialogue or gripping narrative. Realistically, it's all about the light cycles.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 3:23 p.m. CST

    And Malwyn...

    by Wino-Forever

    Your posts are riddled with grammatical errors. Differing opinions are fine, but don't be a pedantic dick.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 3:49 p.m. CST

    TRON 2.0

    by cyberskunk

    I'm looking forward to this movie, at this point. TRON got me interested in the style of music played as the soundtrack. I found I liked Synergy and Suzanne Ciani's "Seven Waves".. She was responsible for the music of the old Xenon pinball machine, and for years and years, I didn't know anything about who did it. I wonder if the new movie is a big success, would a TRON ride be put into Tomorrowland at Disneyland? The only thing like that I remember seeing is when the Peoplemover's "speed tunnel" was changed into a TRON section ("You are now entering the user grid of TRON" or some such). I'm all for getting batch-'digitalised' with a crowd and walking through an indoor queue line with blacklit circuitry designs on the walls and spooky ambient music. As long as the ride itself was neat.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 3:52 p.m. CST

    TRON soundtrack

    by cyberskunk

    Before anybody says anything, yes, I know the soundtrack was by Wendy Carlos (and Journey).

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 4:20 p.m. CST

    God some of you guys are pathetic

    by Rant_Man

    Bickering back and forth at each other over grammar errors, and who's opinion is right. Fucking say what you want to say, and let it be. Don't you have anything better to do, then just spit and spat about "Tron"? "Tron" was a revolutionary movie in special effects respects. The script wasn't academy award material, but still enjoyable as a film. But then again, what is AA material? "Monsters Ball"?!!

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 4:51 p.m. CST

    chew on this for a moment

    by testicleez

    to those who say that TRON was lacing in character developement, i say poo upon you all. we had all we really needed. we all new exactly of what Flynn was capable of from the start of the film. seeing as how he was the star of the movie, i think he was really the only one who needed the developement. well there was TRON himself, but there is only so much emotion and character you can play up when you are a computer program. anyway, i can't wait to see the sequel. i am only 21 years old and have a huge love for the movie. i've loved it since i was a little boy and i understand it either way. thats what made TRON so accessable. its so easy to understand. it doesn't keep you guessing or confused, i.e. the Matrix. dont get me wrong i loved the Matrix, it really was a revolutionary film for the modern day, but it was a little confusing at times and surely not a family movie. TRON is a family movie, i mean it's made by disney for God's sake! this may be the child in me taling, but i thin they should have scenes where they actually do surf the net, or they get the music they listen to for the soundtrac from music scored off sites lie kazaa or dare i say even napster. i dunno, i may have just completely discredited myself, but we have to admit, the possibilities for TRON 2.0 are far more than endless. testicleez out

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Love the font - NOT!

    by nkendrick

    Great interview but who chose the font? Something a little more readable would be nice.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Cool Lightcycle game at

    by NicholasWolfwood . Enjoy

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Bring back David Warner and BB

    by GypsyTRobot

    The baddie of Tron (and Time Bandits, and Time after Time). You know you love him! He's been aging into a lot of non-evil roles lately (Planet of the Apes, ST 6), let him trot out the villainous sneer one last time. And give Bruce Boxleitner a job too. After Babylon 5 ended what has he been up to? Probably drinking Long Island iced teas in the backyard while his wife Melissa Gilbert (star of Little House on the Prairie) slaves away in Infomercial Land.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Repost of my: "Matrix is the sequel is Tron... conspiracy theory

    by jasher78

    "When I walked out of The Matrix I had no clue. When I bought the DVD and watched it 10 times in a row, I had no clue. But then one day, the powers that be at Dinsey released the Tron Special Edition DVD. Of course, I bought it immediately. At that point... at the end of that viewing, I sat there with my mouth hanging wide open and hundreds of thoughts racing through my head. I ran out and told all my friends of my discovery, but they all slapped me silly and called me a geek. I know it to be true. Here is what I discovered: 1) THE M.C.P. develops over the year to become what we know to be, THE MATRIX 2) All the RED GUARDS are the AGENT programs 3) AGENT SMITH is what SARK evolves into. It was his next step to control the computers, before the computers (MCP/MATRIX) took hold of him. 4) DUMONT, is equivilant to ORACLE 5)and MOST convincing is that MORPHEUS spoke of the previous "ONE", that NEO was the second "One". Well, guess what USER was the FIRST "THE ONE"? FLYNN!!! DUH!! FLYNN was the first ONE, the one who could control the Matrix, the MCP, could turn the tide... There is so much there, it makes me absolutely giddy. The MCP found a way to get back online and with the invent of new virtual technologies and a worldwide netowrk, the MCP was able to branch out grow from a simple video game system to a worldwide virtual world that took out not only his allies, but all the users that could ever harm him. EXCEPT for the ONE user that developed him in the first place, that was able to take him down... FLYNN/NEO/THE ONE. I don't care what Disney or WB say. To me this creates such a full dynamic universe and it makes me love it so much more. Whether or not they meant to do it, I love it!! Awesome."

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 5:57 p.m. CST

    A fun film with interesting and unique visuals and many profound

    by Moriarity Report

    First people have to remember this was a Disney film and much of the animation was done by traditional cel animation. So this was basically a hip version of Mary Poppins. And the MCP was the traditional "all powerful at the end" Disney villan. The cast was great, David Warner is a great 2 demensional villan, Bruce Boxleitner great as the square jawed hero, and Cindy Morgan...oh Cindy Morgan. This film is a perfect example of fantasy films of the early to mid eighties and why they were all so great. The effects technology was changing and evolving year to year and so each years film and different technology. This film is a perfect example of the blending of many different effects technologies of the time, to create something truly unique in the history of cinema. You don't get that with cgi. Finally we have the themes of the film. It succesfully managed to blend real (computer) science with fantasy. The struggles between the Mainframe corporate run computer and the small guy trying to make it a free system was amazing. The idea that each program is actually created by real people and that alot of the person is in the program is a very intruiging idea. Then setting the programs all up as characters who have heard myths about their God Users is a wonderful fantasy element. Okay my Mom is yelling at me I have to go.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Mary Poppins

    by MonsterZeroOne

    "So this was basically a hip version of Mary Poppins." LOL! I never heard of TRON being described that way before, but you do have a point. Just to clarify the "traditional cel animation" comment ... the backlit style of cel animation was not new to TRON, but it was the first time (outside of TV commercials) that the effect had been used extensively, esp. in combination with rotoscoped live-action footage. So the way it was employed was rather new and tremendously difficult to do, but it meshed well with the CGI. One more clarification, Disney did little other than provide financing ... TRON started as an independent project developed by Lisberger, and was shot and completed fairly free of Disney's input.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 6:30 p.m. CST

    TRON Reloaded

    by Doubting Thomas

    It had to be said.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Tron twice as cool as any other movie

    by The MCP

    At least, it's the only movie I've ever seen twice, in back to back viewings, the first time I saw it in the theater. And with my parents, no less. I was 13 at the time, and it was that compelling. The comments in this interview ring true - Tron was thematically and artistically visionary. Tron (1982), along with Blade Runner (1982), actually predated the seminal text work of the cyberpunk genre, William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984), by 2 years. Probably Gibson's earlier short story warm-ups and other proto-cyberpunk works were on the minds of these movies' creators. I also suspect these two powerful visions - Tron's Yin to Blade Runner's Yang - helped catalyze the emerging cyberpunk genre into modern "science fiction of the next 20 minutes".

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Harry's Weight in Styrofoam would be roughly the size of a s

    by Bash_Branigan

    Sorry Harry. I couldn't resist. Go ahead...take a swing back. I deserve it.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by TomVee

    This is a film that can stand a sequel using lots of up-to-date CGI. The original today looks pretty awful, due to the limitations of the graphics tools available in the early 80s. The film is also pretty stilted in the acting and dialog departments. Jeff Bridges is its one true saving grace. Oh, and that music! Wow! A TRON 2 couldn't hurt. Freddy P. or Josh H. can take over the lead easily enough.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 10:28 p.m. CST

    The only way it will not bomb......

    by DarthToadie

    is to get Bridges to reprise the role of Flynn. And for God's sake, do not turn this into some Hackers meets Dawson's Creek bullshit technobabble movie. I for one am tired of seeing a slow but sure trend of wonderful movies from my childhood being fucked with and destroyed. Star Wars, E.T., and now this. What's next, a remake of Goonies? Gremlins? The Dark Crystal? DarthToadie has spoken......

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Snubbed At The Oscars

    by NoCureForFools

    according to the documentary on the DVD, TRON was snubbed at the Oscars for special effects because, at the time, using computers was thought as "cheating"! imagine that! and the way they described the actual process: of having to enter in thousands of numbers to plot vector points BY HAND, boggles my mind. the amount of work and heart that went into that film is truly staggering. TRON is the great unsung hero of the olde skool EFX pictures (you know, when you actually had to write a story to back up the visuals). and yes, the story was perfect. it had all the essential elements of the classic Cambellian heros tale. like, for instance, Star Wars. to criticize the film on the basis of the fact that the characters were one-dimensional is ludicrous -- they were supposed to be that way. they are templates, archetypes, icons. they represent ideas, not fully flushed out human characters. do you mean to say that the Matrix had deep, insightful characterizations and a believeable dramatic plot? i didn't think so. just because the heros dress in leather and pretend they are hip doesn't mean that it's "deep" and "serious". if anything, the fact that TRON had this sort of naive quality to it, makes it a more powerful and touching film. but, seriously, these aren't Mike Leigh films were talking about here. it's pulp, it's pop, and unlike the visually stunning poopoo we have shoved down our throats every summer, TRON was exceptionally good in this context.

  • Sept. 3, 2002, 11:30 p.m. CST


    by jackburtonlives

    you made my day, man. i wasn't drinking any fluids when i read your post but if i had been drinking hot coffee (god forbid) i'm sure it would have spurted out my nasal passages. hopefully my fart-guffaw won't cost me my job...

  • Sept. 4, 2002, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Tron Sucks

    by SuperTooth

  • Sept. 4, 2002, 2:14 a.m. CST


    by nverman

    I got such a kick reading this transcript. Talk about 80s nostalgia! I was just a wee tyke when Tron came out, and I remember staring in awe at the visuals of Tron in a movie theater in Denver. I have to laugh now considering that virtually every movie has some element of CGI in it, rendering the technique somewhat mundane now. I also remember salivating whenever I was allowed to play Battlezone in this video arcade at a mall that doesn't even exist anymore (it was bulldozed a couple of years ago). My pot-smoking uncle (everybody has one) knew his kids and nephews loved Battlezone so much that he decided to steal the videogame with a couple of his drunk buddies. I remember sleeping over one night and here comes my high uncle trundling through the living room door with this console on his back, the other side being lifted by this other drunk dude. He took the entire 300-400 lb. console and placed it in his living room right next to his lazy boy lounger. Whenever I spent the night at his house I would spend my Friday nights in their living room eating popcorn and taking turns with my cousins at playing the game. The only thing is my uncle was smart enough to rip the game off from an arcade, but not smart enough to figure out how to activate the game without depositing a quarter, so he had to keep a jar full of quarters on the console to get it to work. He would get the quarters back, of course, and so this detail just added another quirky element to my 80s nostalgia. Thanks for the ride lady! Thanks for the ride!

  • Sept. 4, 2002, 3:20 a.m. CST

    three quarks

    by SimpsonsQuoteMan

    what makes it different is that not every film is a work of art!!!

  • Sept. 4, 2002, 3:54 a.m. CST


    by SG7

    It's Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). It's "black light composits," not "back light composits." And finally a "bit" is still the fundamental unit of storage in a computer.

  • Sept. 4, 2002, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Tron derezzes The Matrix all to hell!

    by darthflagg

    Tron did it first, The Matrix just made it cooler. I want to see Tron 2.0 blow away Neo and pals!

  • Sept. 4, 2002, 10:38 p.m. CST

    whoever makes Tron 2.0 .......

    by ferris

    They should have to sit and watch the original several times ! I just hope 2.0 is as good or better than the original !!! Cheers, programs !

  • March 28, 2003, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Tron Deadly Discs

    by HA|Riparian

    Son of Batboy, The intellivision version of Tron:Deadly Discs was at least 6 times better than the ATARI: VCS version! And I cannot wait to see the Multiplayer version of TRON 2.0 from Disney: "Multiplayer games will be based on the idea of gladatorial combat. A multiplayer level will have a set of arenas that people can enter to scuare off against other players. In the middle is a spectator area where you can study potential opponents or just hang out to watch. The objective on a server is to be the guy with the most points on the leaderboard. There are different levels based on environments from the single player game: a corrupted server, an internet city, the old TRON wold, and even the disappearing rings arena from the arcade game." "Wait.... let him fight one of his own kind!"

  • July 15, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Orcus remembers this

    by orcus