Tron was one of those ground-breaking movies of the early 80s (cf Blade Runner, The Terminator) that naturally did very poorly at the box office but found its audience when the home video and cable markets exploded.
At first, no one understood it, computers were still baffling and alien to most people and so everyone ignored it on first release.
A Disney movie, it got lost down the side of the sofa by the company whenever the embarrassment about its costs compared with its audience got too much for Mickey’s friends – they never like to admit to anything as un-Disney as failure.
Featuring Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner, Tron was set in the real world but also inside a computer, as hacker Bridges gets ‘digitised’ by a rampaging artificial intelligence and forced to fight for his life against other computer programs. The most famous of these went on to launch dozens of imitator real-world games – in particular, the light cycle game.
The film featured groundbreaking computer graphics – which ironically eliminated it from winning any special effects awards, since that was regarded as cheating in the early 80s. But as computers became familiar and omnipresent, so people started to ‘get’ Tron.
Anyway, Disney, mindful that Tron went on to inspire a generation of computer programmers, has finally got round to producing a sequel, starring Jeff Bridges. Footage was shown at a panel at this year’s Comic-Con and here, live from someone’s camera phone, is Tr2n.