Comic-Con 2010: Live-Blogging the TRON LEGACY Press Conference
Before we see the footage from Joseph Kosinski's new Tron Legacy at the Tron Panel in Hall H, I'm attending a press conference with the cast, producers, and writers of the movies at the Hilton Hotel next to the convention center. I'll be updating you every few minutes, and don't forget to stay tuned for our thoughts on the panel itself very soon.
Attending the press junket: Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who wrote the film and also were executive producers and writers on LOST; Bruce Boxleitner (TRON), who reprises his role as Alan Bradey; Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon), who plays Castor in Tron Legacy; Olivia Wilde (House, upcoming Cowboys and Aliens), who plays Quorra; Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart, a billion other things), who reprises his role as Kevin Flynn; Garrett Hedlund (Death Sentence), who plays Kevin Flynn's son Sam; director Joe Kosinski; Steven Lisberger, the writer/director of the original TRON; Eric Barba, the visual effects supervisor; and Jeff Silver & Justin Springer, who are producers on the film.
10:00 am – Nothing. The room is full of press, but no talent has arrived yet.
10:05 am - Nope. Not here yet.
10:10 am - Nada. This group must be working the "dramatic entrance" angle.
10:15 am - Aaaaannnnnnnddddddd...they still haven't arrived. I'm beginning to wonder if they've been sucked into the computer world - FOR REAL.
10:20 am - The talent finally arrives.
10:25 am - Someone asks the actors about their first experiences watching the original. Olivia Wilde - "I just always knew it was cool, but now we made it cooler." Michael Sheen - "Phenomenal acting. I can't remember who the actors were in it...this weird thing, I think it was called 'CG.'" Garrett Hedlund - "I didn't see the original until about 2003, on a laptop overseas somewhere...it was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Especially at that point...it played so well." Some nerd asks about characters that don't appear in the new film. Joe Kosinski - "When you make a movie, you have to make difficult choices about what you're going to focus on. In this story, we chose to focus on Sam and Kevin Flynn."
10:30 am - How hard was it to update the look, but without being retro? And how was it working in 3D? Joe Kosinski - "The design work is so strong [in the original]...it transcends time...there was such a great foundation for us to build on. I wanted the movie for us to feel like we had been pulled into the computer and shot it with motion picture cameras on the inside. As far as 3D goes, we used the newer generation Fusion system that Cameron developed on Avatar, but a newer version...it's a really tedious process, but it pays off in the end." What was Bridges reaction about hearing the news about the sequel? Jeff Bridges - "I kind of gave up on it, and all of a sudden this script showed up...they held out to find the right guy to be at the helm, and with Joe I think they found a terrific, terrific, leader...he was really up to date with the modern techniques so he was a great leader and he was terrific with actors...just like the first one, it tickled the kid in me - getting stuck inside a computer! Playing with all the toys." Now, we almost live more in the virtual world, so how do you plan to impress the public who has seen it all when it comes to the internet? Lisberger - "That's not going to be a problem. There's a sense that it's a founding myth for an entire generation...in the first film, it felt like we were doing 3D. With the light cycles, and the grid, it was the first time we realized that we'd have to render that inside the computer in 3D...that was the beginning of 3D for me back then."
10:35 am - Anybody know when the original will be released on Blu-ray, and anything special planned for Tron Legacy Blu-ray? Sean Bailey - "There will be some very cool materials on it and we'll be taking a hard look at the 3D front as well as we get greater penetration in that world...we'll be as forward leaning as we can." Michael Sheen - "But I believe the musical will be coming out before that." How do you write a script that isn't overpowered by VFX? Eddy - "We come from TV...we were lucky that these guys were collaborative...Joe sent us an e-mail with the coolest looking design [about the disc game], and that really helped us even though it was a small thing."
10:40 am - Somebody asks if Bridges took photos on the set. "I didn't take too many, because the camera that I use requires quite a bit of light and our movie required very little light...I have a few, and they may pop up on my website or something like that." How does it feel to see people excited about TRON again? Bridges - "The effects test was responsible for getting the ball rolling and the financing and everything." How did the producers organize the viral campaign? Sean Bailey - "We mapped the mythology from 1982 to 2010. That gave us a really good foundation for the story that we wanted to tell, but also those intervening years...some of that is coming across in the viral, the video game, other publishing efforts...it's been great watching Bruce deal with conditions on the ground in San Francisco." Tell me about Daft Punk. Joe Kosinski - "I met up with them way before...we got started on the music very early. We were doing music before we even started shooting. We've been working on it for almost two years now, they're in the studio as we speak...it blurs the line between sound design and music in an interesting way...it's an amazing fusion of music and picture that I'm excited about." Olivia - "They were instrumental in the process of shooting, because we could listen to a Daft track and know where we were in the shooting."
10:45 am - For Sheen, how is it to be at your first Comic-Con? Michael Sheen - "It's fantastic. I was supposed to come for a few years, with Underworld, Alice in Wonderland, Twilight. I wasn't able to. I wanted to build up a huge head of steam and be carried through the streets and crowned the new king of Comic-Con, so now you have the chance to make this boy's dreams come true." How did Bruce feel about working with them again? Bruce - "Finding out where these characters went after all these years, what happened to them, that's what intrigued me...I had no idea that Alan Bradley was such a lost soul...it seemed absolutely real. I was just thrilled by it, just thrilled." For those who had to wear the suits, what was that like? Olivia Wilde - "It was amazing." Sheen - "It WAS amazing to watch Olivia!" Olivia - "It was an honor to be able to wear something like that that changed the way every other department was working on the film...we would get really excited every time the suits would turn on." Garrett Hedlund - "First, you've gotta train immensely for the suit...they create the suit out of every definition of your body." Michael - "There was a great moment where they'd say, 'ready, camera, and...light 'em up!' And it was great." Bridges - "When I sat down this morning in my seat, my father had a prototype of the suit with 'Sea Hunt.'"
10:50 am - Steven Lisberger "When we came up with the idea that Jeff had been lost in the data stream all these years, like Colonel Kurtz in cyber space, it was too much to resist."