Tron is an American science fiction media franchise. It began in 1982 with the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron. It was followed by various film tie-ins, a comic series and the 2010 sequel Tron: Legacy. More sequels are planned, and a television series premiered on Disney XD in June 2012.
TRON also existed as the TRON command in the early versions of the computer programming language BASIC. TRON stood for TRace ON, which prompted the program to print or display line numbers for each command line of a program as it ran, in order to assist in the debugging of the program. In the TRON film, TRON became a character who worked in programs to defeat evil elements trying to subvert the program.
Tron is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars Jeff Bridges as a computer programmer who is transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, and Barnard Hughes star in supporting roles.
Development of Tron began in 1976 when Lisberger became fascinated with the early video game Pong. He and producer Donald Kushner set up an animation studio to develop Tron with the intention of making it an animated film. Indeed, to promote the studio itself, Lisberger and his team created a 30-second animation featuring the first appearance of the eponymous character. Eventually, Lisberger decided to include live-action elements with both backlit and computer animation for the actual feature-length film. Various film studios had rejected the storyboards for the film before the Walt Disney Studios agreed to finance and distribute Tron. There, backlit animation was finally combined with the computer animation and live action.
Tron was released on July 9, 1982 in 1,091 theaters in the United States. The film was a moderate success at the box office, but received positive reviews from critics who praised the groundbreaking visuals and acting, but the storyline was criticized at the time for being incoherent. Tron received nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Sound at the 55th Academy Awards, and received the Academy Award for Technical Achievement fourteen years later. Over time, Tron developed into a cult film and eventually spawned a franchise, which consists of multiple video games, comic books and an animated television series. A sequel titled Tron: Legacy directed by Joseph Kosinski was released on December 17, 2010, with Bridges and Boxleitner reprising their roles, and Lisberger acting as producer.
Tron: Legacy (2010)
Tron: Legacy is a 2010 American science fiction film produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures. A sequel to the 1982 film Tron, it is directed by Joseph Kosinski, produced by Tron director Steven Lisberger and written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, based on a story by Horowitz, Kitsis, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. The cast includes Tron veterans Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner, who reprised their roles as Kevin Flynn and Alan Bradley, as well as Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Beau Garrett, Michael Sheen and James Frain. The story follows Flynn's son Sam (Hedlund) who responds to a message from his long-lost father and is transported into a virtual reality called the Grid, where Sam, his father and the algorithm Quorra (Wilde) stop the malevolent program CLU from invading the human world.
Interest in creating a sequel for Tron arose after the film garnered a cult following. After much speculation, a concerted effort to devise Tron: Legacy began in 2005 when producers hired Klugman and Sternthal as writers. Kosinski was recruited as director two years later. As he was not optimistic about Walt Disney Pictures' Matrix-esque approach to the film, Kosinski opted for a loan which he used to cultivate a prototype and conceptualize the universe of Tron: Legacy. Principal photography took place in Vancouver over 67 days, in and around the city's central business district. Most sequences were shot in 3D and ten companies were involved with the extensive visual effects work. Chroma keying and other techniques were used to allow more freedom in creating effects. The film score was composed by French duo Daft Punk, who incorporated orchestral sounds into their electronic music.
Disney aggressively promoted Tron: Legacy. It received mixed reviews from film critics, who generally praised the effects and soundtrack but were unmoved by its character development and cast performance. The film grossed over $400 million during its worldwide theatrical run, making it a success. It was the 11th highest grossing film of the year.
Tron 3 (2016)
A third film is in the works with Garrett Hedlund and Boxleitner reprising their roles.