TRON LEGACY Director Joseph Kosinski Talks about the Film, 3D and Daft Punk

Joseph Kosinski is the man directing one of the most highly anticipated films of 2010, Tron Legacy. There isn't one person that I have met that isn't crazy excited for this movie to come out. The test footage that was shot seemed to blow everyone away. Then this last year at Comic con we were treated to some behind the scenes stunt work that also blew the brains out of our geek minds. Now the director has stepped out of the dark editing room for a bit to talk about the next Tron film and everything involved. There's no doubt he's hoping that he will deliver us a film unlike anything we've seen before, and I think after working on the film Three and a half years of working on the movie, he has a very good chance of doing just that.

You've heard that the film will be in 3D but the whole movie will not be in 3D. Kosinski explains,

Our approach is not like "Avatar," which I think is 3-D from the first shot to the last. Ours is sort of a "Wizard of Oz" approach. Ninety-eight percent of the 3-D is in the world of "Tron." The 3-D really starts once we get into the Tron world.

He goes on to explain that the technology they are using to create this world of Tron will be a mix of what James Cameron used in Avatar, and What Robert Zemekis has been doing with motion capture.

It's a combination of technologies that Zemeckis has been using in terms of the completely digital motion-capture of a character and for the live-action camera system. We used a camera developed by James Cameron's company. We used a newer generation of camera than the one used on "Avatar." They built it specifically for us.

Now one of the questions I've had on my mind was will the final product of this film look like what we've seen from the test footage that was used to get the geeks to help push this film into production? In the answer to this question Kosinski reveals where that scene takes place in the Tron universe.

I would say it's not far removed. The teaser, at least tonally, represented the direction I wanted to take it. That sequence actually doesn't appear in our film at all. It represents a period of time before our film begins. We were able to refine the design of the light cycles, the characters, the world and kind of flesh it out to a much higher level of detail than we were able to do for the test. What we're going to see in the film will feel a lot more photorealistic. They did that test with eight or 10 people in a matter of months. We have thousands of people working on the film. It's a whole different scale.

We also knew that Jeff Bridges was going to play two characters in the film... a old version of Kevin Flynn and a young version. He expands on this aspect of the film bit, and it's pretty cool.

Jeff is playing two characters. He's playing Kevin Flynn, the character from the original film, and he's playing Clu, the avatar that Kevin Flynn created in the 1980s. I'd say he's Clu 2. There was a Clu in the first film who looked like Jeff but was very simple in terms of his abilities. He's very stiff. Clu 2 is a second incarnation of Kevin's avatar. He doesn't only look like Jeff, but he can think like him too. So it's a whole new level of artificial intelligence.

I've been hoping that this film gets a IMAX release for this movie, and although nothing was shot in IMAX we are still going to get to see a IMAX conversion.

We did not shoot anything with an IMAX camera, because it uses film, and since we were shooting in 3-D, we used two digital cameras. That being said, we are doing an IMAX version. What I am considering doing now is finishing four or five sections of the film in a tall format — not letterbox — and in an IMAX theater, the black bars at the top and bottom of the frame will disappear and it will become a full-screen sequence, which should be really cool. I think IMAX will be the way to see this movie.

Thats exactly what was done for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight

The original Tron film as a huge fan base and in this next statement, he talks about what was done to satisfy this core audience. Personally from what I've seen they've done a great job, but he reveals that Bruce Boxleitner isn't just going to have a small role in the film, he's a major part of the story!

The focus was always to serve the story we are telling. To include Bruce Boxleitner is not at all a cameo or stunt casting. He is integral to the story we're trying to tell, which is why he's in it. We've taken the events of the first movie as historical facts. In our story, Kevin Flynn emerged from his first experience as CEO of ENCOM and actually released the Tron video game based on his experiences in the first movie. ENCOM has become the most innovative, most successful, most forward-thinking digital company in the world as of 1989. There are fun references to parts of the first film. Sam Flynn [Garrett Hedlund], in searching for his father, has to retrace his steps and comes upon clues and places that we visited in the first film, like Flynn's Arcade. Even in the world of Tron itself, a lot of vehicles and sequences have evolved. We'll get to see how the disc game has changed, how the light cycle battle has changed. We get to see the new version of these iconic sequences. Things have gotten bigger and a bit out of control.

If that little bit of information didn't get your geek blood boiling I don't know what will! They showed some stunt footage of how the disc game has changed at comic-con, and it's going to blow your mind!

Kosinsky then goes on to talk about why he chose Daft Punk to create the soundtrack.

I'm a huge electronic-music fan. This is a film where there was a lot of interest from different electronic bands that I follow to work on the film. I felt it was important, just as the first film was so forward-thinking visually and Wendy Carlos' music was so innovative, I felt we had to do the same thing here. So rather than going with a traditional film composer, I wanted to try something fresh and different. I set up a meeting with Daft Punk. We met for pancakes at the 101 Coffee Shop in L.A. one morning. These guys take "Tron" very seriously. Obviously, "Tron" was a huge influence on them. It was almost like they were interviewing me to make sure that I was going to hold up to the "Tron" legacy. But the more we talked, we realized that creatively, we were totally synced up. I've been working on it with them for over a year and a half. I don't know of a movie where you're working on the soundtrack months before you start filming. The level of integration between the music and the film is incredibly strong.

This was such a great interview! One that revealed a good amount of information that we haven't heard about Tron Legacy yet. I seriously can't wait to see this movie when it comes out in December. I'm sure it will end up being a pretty big franchise for Disney, and this wont be the last Tron film that we see. 

What do you think about what the director of the film talked about in this interview? Do you like what you heard?

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