story of tron

For twenty years, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his father Kevin (Jeff Bridges), an innovative software programmer and former CEO of ENCOM International. During a board of directors meeting before the launch of the 12th version of ENCOM’s operating system, Sam breaks into company headquarters and leaks the OS to the public for free while also sabotaging the launch with a video of his pet dog. He is arrested and later released by the police. Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), Kevin’s friend and now an executive consultant to ENCOM, goes to Sam’s home and suggests he investigate a mysterious page that originated from a number at Flynn’s abandoned arcade, one that has long been disconnected. While exploring the arcade, Sam discovers a hidden passage leading to a computer lab beneath the arcade. As he attempts to recreate what his father was doing by calling up the command logs and reissuing the last command entered, he activates a digitizing laser which transports him to The Grid, a virtual domain existing inside the computer system.

Sam is quickly captured by sentinel programs and is selected to compete in the Gladiatorial Games (GGs). He defeats his first two opponents, but when he attempts to escape he is pitted against Rinzler, a master of the GGs, who subdues Sam and finds out that Sam is not a program, but a user. Sam is taken to the Grid’s leader, Clu (Jeff Bridges), whom Sam initially mistakes for his father. Clu forces Sam into a Light Cycle match, and Sam is nearly killed before Clu’s Light Cycle is destroyed by a mysterious newcomer, Quorra (Olivia Wilde). Quorra takes Sam “Off-Grid” to Kevin Flynn’s hideout. Reunited, Kevin explains to Sam that he created the Grid with assistance from Clu and Bradley’s program, Tron. Not long after, “Isomorphic Algorithms” (ISOs) manifested out of the system, entities with the potential to unlock mysteries in almost every field of Science and Philosophy. Clu, who was coded to create a perfect system, saw the ISOs as imperfect beings, betrayed Kevin, apparently de-rezzed Tron, and seized control of the Grid. He then systematically eliminated all ISOs. Kevin meanwhile is forced into hiding and cannot reach the portal back to the real world before it closes. Kevin then tells Sam that it was Clu who sent the page as a trap, luring Sam into the Grid in the hopes of forcing Kevin out of hiding to help his son travel back to the real world. Sam proposes that he and his father escape back to the real world through the portal Sam opened when he was transported to the Grid, but Kevin, despite being trapped on the Grid for 20 years, refuses to leave, revealing that if he were to be captured by Clu it would be possible for Clu to escape into the real world using Kevin’s Identity Disc. Sam wonders why Kevin can’t just use his power as the Creator to destroy Clu, but Quorra reveals that Kevin can choose to “reintegrate” with Clu at any time, but the process would destroy them both.

Upset at both the idea of losing his father again and being stuck in the Grid, Sam retreats to his room. Seeing how determined Sam is to go back, Quorra comes to him and tells him about Zuse, whom she believes may be able to provide safe passage out of the Grid, and how to find him. While searching for Zuse, Sam meets Gem (Beau Garrett), one of the Sirens who armed him for the games. She tells him that she can lead him to the person he needs to find and takes him to the “End of Line Club”, run by Castor (Michael Sheen), who is later revealed to be Zuse. But rather than assisting Sam’s escape, Zuse betrays him to Clu’s forces, who arrive and launch an assault on the club. Kevin and Quorra arrive to rescue Sam, and in the ensuing fight Quorra is severely injured when her arm is derezzed. The three manage to escape, but Kevin’s disc is seized by the Black Guards. Castor offers the disc to Clu in return for control of the city, but Clu takes the disc and destroys the club, killing Castor and Gem. Meanwhile, Sam, Kevin, and Quorra escape aboard a “Solar Sailer” train heading towards the portal. As Kevin attempts to repair Quorra’s code, Sam finds out she is the very last ISO, and that Kevin disguised her as a Basic in order to protect her true identity. After she “reboots”, Quorra engages Sam in a conversation which reveals her curiosity about the real world she gleaned from Kevin’s library, a sunrise in particular.

The three unexpectedly arrive at a station within a Regulator, a massive warship, where Clu addresses an army of programs that have been “rectified”, or reprogrammed. Clu reveals his plans to use Kevin’s disc as a means to send himself and his army into the real world in order to “perfect” it in their own image. They again encounter Rinzler, and Quorra chooses to sacrifice herself as a distraction so that Sam and Kevin may safely reach the portal – in Kevin’s words “taking herself out of the equation” – and gives her identity disc to Kevin. Watching Quorra’s capture, Kevin observes Rinzler and immediately recognizes him as Tron, now reprogrammed to serve Clu. Kevin and Sam split up; Kevin secures transportation off of the Regulator, while Sam goes to regain Flynn’s disc and save Quorra. The three escape and head for the portal. Clu sees them escape, derezzes his right-hand program, Jarvis, for failing to stop Sam, and with Rinzler gives pursuit in “lightjets”. Sam, Kevin and Quorra manage to destroy all of their pursuers except for Clu and Rinzler. As Rinzler closes in on the fleeing ship, he makes eye contact with Kevin, and experiences a flashback of himself (as Tron) telling Kevin to run and save himself. Immediately rediscovering his true identity and purpose as Tron, Rinzler declares that he “fights for the users” and uses his lightjet to ram Clu. As the two plummet, Clu forcibly commandeers Rinzler’s spare lightjet, leaving his former lieutenant to fall into the sea of simulation below. As Rinzler sinks, his glow shifts from red to white, completing his reawakening as Tron, the free program.

Sam, Kevin and Quorra arrive at the portal, but Clu has managed to arrive first. Kevin attempts to reconcile with Clu and make amends, but he is cast aside, and Clu again seizes the “master key.” But Clu discovers that the disc he holds is actually Quorra’s, and that she has Kevin’s disc. Enraged, Clu desperately tries to reach the portal to stop them. As Sam and Quorra stand within the light of the portal, Kevin buys them time by reintegrating with Clu. The two merge and destroy each other, obliterating the Grid as Sam and Quorra transport through the portal into the real world. Back in Flynn’s Arcade, Sam downloads a backup of the Grid onto a portable device and contacts Alan Bradley, informing him that he will start working at ENCOM on Monday, and as the controlling interest shareholder of the company, he will name Bradley chairman of the board. Sam leaves the arcade and meets up with Quorra, whom he takes to watch the sunrise for the first time in her life. The ultimate fate of Tron remains unknown.[10]

[edit] Cast

  • Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, the former CEO of ENCOM International and creator of the popular arcade game Tron, which was based on his own experiences in ENCOM’s virtual environment. He disappeared in 1989 while developing “a digital frontier that will reshape the human condition.”[11] Bridges also portrays Clu, the film’s primary antagonist. A more advanced incarnation of his original hacking program of the same name, Flynn designed Clu in 1983 to act as an “exact duplicate of himself” within The Grid.[12]
  • Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn, the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn and majority owner of ENCOM. While investigating his father’s disappearance, Sam is transported onto The Grid himself.
  • Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley, an executive consultant for ENCOM International[13] and close friend of Kevin Flynn.[11] After receiving a cryptic page from the office at Flynn’s old arcade, he encourages Sam to investigate its origin. Boxleitner also portrays Tron, a security program developed by Bradley after which Flynn’s arcade game is named.
  • Michael Sheen as Castor/Zuse, a vivacious and renowned program in The Grid who runs the End of Line Club at the top of a tower in the system.[14]
  • Olivia Wilde as Quorra, a program, adept warrior and confidante of Kevin Flynn in The Grid. Flynn refers to her as his “apprentice,” and has imparted volumes of information to her regarding the world outside of The Grid, which she longs to experience for herself.
  • James Frain as Jarvis, Clu’s right-hand program and chief intelligence officer.[15]
  • Daft Punk as two MP3 programs[16] (referred to in the end credits as “masked DJs“) at Castor’s End of Line Club.
  • Beau Garrett as Gem, one of four programs known as Sirens. The Sirens operate The Grid game armory, equipping combatants with the armor needed to compete in the games.[17]
  • Yaya DaCosta, Serinda Swan, and Elizabeth Mathis as the other three Sirens.
  • Cillian Murphy appears in an uncredited role as Edward Dillinger Jr. He is the son of former ENCOM Senior Executive Ed Dillinger (portrayed by David Warner), who was one of the three primary antagonists in the original film.

Stunt actor Anis Cheurfa portrays the masked warrior Rinzler, whose voice is provided by Bruce Boxleitner.

The original character of Yori does not appear in the sequel; nor does her user, Dr. Laura Baines Ph.D., even though the film refers to Alan Bradley being married to Dr. Baines. According to online media Sci Fi Wire: “Fans have been lobbying for actress Cindy Morgan to be in the movie.” There are active campaigns online, such as “Yori Lives” on Facebook, which is independent of Morgan herself. “All I know is what I’m seeing online,” Morgan said. “I am so thrilled and touched and excited about the fan reaction and about people talking about the first one and how it relates to the second one. I can’t tell you how warm a feeling I get from that. It just means so much.” No one from Tron: Legacy had contacted Morgan, and she did not directly speak with anyone from the Joseph Kosinski-directed sequel.[18] As Dr. Lora Baines, Cindy Morgan had appeared with Bruce Boxleitner (as Alan Bradley) at the Encom Press Conference in San Francisco, April 2, 2010.

[edit] Production

[edit] Development

In the late 1990s, there was speculation that Disney would make a sequel film, due to the original film’s cult following. On July 29, 1999, ZDnet News reported that a Tron sequel or remake was being considered by Pixar.[19] Throughout the next several years, many false rumors that a Tron sequel was in production or being developed were reported by various news websites.

On January 13, 2005, Variety reported that Disney had hired Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal to write a sequel to Tron.

Original sequel logo, from the test footage premiered at Comic-Con 2008.

At the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, a preliminary teaser trailer (labeled as TR2N and directed by Joseph Kosinski) was shown as a surprise to convention guests. It depicted a yellow Program engaged in a light cycle battle with a blue Program, and it prominently featured Jeff Bridges reprising his role as an aged Kevin Flynn (from the first film). At the end of the trailer, the yellow Program showed his face, which appeared identical to Flynn’s earlier program Clu (resembling the younger Flynn in Tron).

While the trailer did not confirm that a Tron sequel was in production, it showed that Disney was serious about a sequel. In an interview with Sci-Fi Wire, Bridges revealed that the test footage was not likely to appear in the finished movie.[20]

On July 23, 2009, Disney revealed the current title at their Comic-Con 3D panel. Jeff Bridges explains that the title is in reference to the story’s theme: “It’s basically a story about a son’s search for his father.” They also showed a trailer similar to the one shown at Comic-Con 2008, with updated visuals. At the time, the film just wrapped production and they had a year of post production ahead of them. Because none of the footage from inside the computer world was finished, they premiered concept images from the production. Art included the recognizer, which has been updated from the original film. Concept photos were also shown of Disc Wars, which has also been revised from the original film into a 16-game tournament. The arena is set-up so that the game court organically changes, and all 16 games are going on at the same time. The boards also combine in real time until the last two Disc warriors are connected.[citation needed]

Light cycles make a return,[21][22] with new designs by Daniel Simon.[23] According to the press conference at Comic-Con 2009, a new vehicle appears called a “Light Runner,” a two-seat version of the light cycle. It is said to be very fast, and has the unique ability to go off The Grid on its own power. We also get a glimpse at Kevin Flynn’s own cycle, a “Second Generation Light Cycle” designed in 1989 by Flynn and “rumor has it it’s still the fastest thing on The Grid.” It incorporates some of the look of both films.[24] The movie also features theatrical 7.1 surround sound.

Light cycle model on display at Fan Expo 2009 Disney booth

A life-size model of the light cycle was put on display at a booth at Fan Expo 2009 in Toronto, Canada from August 28–30, 2009, along with a special presentation of material from the production. The conceptual art shown at Comic-Con was shown in the session, along with some test film of the martial artists who play a more athletic style of Disc Wars. A segment from the movie showed Flynn’s son entering the now-decrepit arcade, playing a Tron stand-up arcade video game, noticing a passage in the wall behind the Tron game and entering it, the passage closing behind him. Flynn’s son makes the visit to the arcade after Alan Bradley receives a page from the disconnected phone number of the arcade. The footage was used later as part of the trailer released on March 5, 2010.

[edit] Filming

Filming began in Vancouver, British Columbia in April 2009.[25] Stage shooting for the film took place at the Canadian Motion Picture Park studio in south Burnaby. Most of the film was filmed in 3D, as was the teaser. The film’s beginning portions were shot in 2D.[26] Digital Domain was contracted to work on the visual effects.[27]

In April 2009, pictures were leaked onto the Internet showing actors in blue skintight suits. The design of the suits is reminiscent of the outfits worn by the actors in the original film.[28] Director Kosinski also revealed that the faces of the younger Flynn, as well as Clu 2.0, were created entirely in CG.[29]

[edit] Music

Electronic music duo Daft Punk composed the film score.[30] At the time of the 2009 Comic-Con, it was revealed they composed 24 tracks for the film.[31] When Kosinski was asked why he decided to have Daft Punk do the film score, he replied, “How could you not at least go to those guys?”[32] Kosinski referred to the score as being a mixture of orchestral and electronic elements.[33] Olivia Wilde stated that the duo may be involved with future promotional events.[31] A teaser trailer features Daft Punk and their track “Derezzed” from the soundtrack.[34] The film score features an 85-piece orchestra, recorded at AIR Lyndhurst Studios in London.[35] A soundtrack album of the film was released on December 6, 2010. A deluxe edition of the album was also released that includes a poster of Daft Punk from the film.[36] The songs “Separate Ways” by Journey and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics are also featured in the film.[31] Daft Punk’s score was arranged and orchestrated by Joseph Trapanese.[37] Jason Bentley served as the film’s music supervisor.[38]

[edit] Sound effects

Crowd effects for the gaming arena were recorded at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International. During one of the Tron: Legacy panels, the crowd was given instruction via a large video screen while techs from Skywalker Sound recorded the performance. The audience performed chants and stomping effects similar to what is heard in modern sports arenas.[39]

[edit] Marketing

On July 21, 2009, several movie-related websites posted they had received via mail a pair of “Flynn’s Arcade” tokens along with a flash drive. Its content was an animated GIF that showed CSS code lines. Four of them were put together and part of the code was cracked, revealing the URL to,[40] a fictitious site maintained by activists who believe Kevin Flynn is alive, even though he’s been missing since 1989. Clicking on a tiny spider in the lower section of the main page led to a countdown clock that hit zero on July 23, 2009, 9:30 pm PDT. Within the Terms of Use Section, an address was found. It lies in San Diego, California, USA near the city’s convention center where the Comic Con 2009 took place and some footage and information on the sequel was released. Flynn’s Arcade was re-opened at that location, with several Space Paranoids arcade machines and a variety of ’80s video games. A full-size light cycle from the new movie was on display.[41]

A ninth viral site,, was found. It portrays some of the history of Flynn’s Arcade as well as a fan memoir section.[42] On December 19, 2009 a new poster was revealed, along with the second still from the movie.[43] Banners promoting the film paved the way to the 2010 Comic-Con convention center, making this a record third appearance for the film at the annual event.[44] On October 19, 2010, a new banner was revealed, combining segments from the original Tron poster in it. In the poster, Sam reaches out for his disk in the air, with Quorra by his side in the world of Tron.

The first theatrical trailer was released on March 5, 2010 with Alice in Wonderland, and featured scenes with Sam, Flynn and the Tron world. The second trailer was attached to Step Up 3D. Another trailer was attached to Resident Evil: Afterlife one was also attached to Jackass 3D. On November 9, 2010, a new trailer was released. Sneak previews of the film aired on November 5 on Disney Channel during new episodes of The Suite Life on Deck and Pair of Kings.

Disney also partnered with Coke Zero to promote Tron: Legacy. Said promotion included promotional in-store standees, as well as Tron: Legacy logos and character art on Coke Zero cans, bottles, and 2-liters, as well as pre-movie advertisements at movie theater chains, and extensive promotional material on the official Coke Zero website.[citation needed]

[edit] Theme parks and attractions

At the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, one monorail train was decorated with special artwork depicting lightcycles with trailing beams of light, along with the film’s logo. This Tron themed monorail, which was renamed the “Tronorail,” was unveiled in March 2010.[45]

At the Disneyland Resort in California, a nighttime dance party named “ElecTRONica” premiered on October 8, 2010 and is still continued, in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot at Disney California Adventure.[46] Winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, Poreotics, perform at ElecTRONica. As part of ElecTRONica, a sneak peak with scenes from the film is shown in 3D with additional in-theater effects in the MuppetVision theater.

On October 29, 2010, the nighttime show World of Color at Disney California Adventure began soft-openings after its second show of a Tron: Legacy themed encore using a Daft Punk music piece titled “The Game Has Changed” from the movie soundtrack, using new effects and projections on Paradise Pier attractions. The encore officially premiered on November 1, 2010.[47]

On December 12, 2010 The show Extreme Makeover Home Edition as part of a house rebuild constructed a Tron Legacy themed bedroom for one of the occupants young boys. The black painted room not only consisted of life sized Tron city graphics but glowing blue line graphics on the walls, floor and furniture, a desk with glowing red lit Recognizers for the legs and a Tron suit inspired desk chair, a Lightcycle shaped chair with blue lighting accents, projection mural system that projects Tron imagery on a glass wall partition, laptop computer, flatscreen Television, several Tron Legacy action figures, a daybed in black and shimering dark blue and blue overhead lit panels. [48]

Disney was involved with the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi through association with designers Ian Douglas-Jones at I-N-D-J and Ben Rousseau to create “The Legacy of the River”, a high-tech suite inspired by “Tron: Legacy”. The suite uses electroluminescent wire to capture the art style of the film. It consists of over 60 square meters of 100mm thick ice equating to approximately six tons. 160 linear meters of electroluminescent wire were routed out, sandwiched and then glued with powdered snow and water to create complex geometric forms. The Ice Hotel is expected to get 60,000 visitors for the season which lasts December 2010 through April 2011.[49]

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