- Helming “TRON: Legacy” is first-time feature-film director Joseph Kosinski, who proved his unique visionary approach as a commercial director on campaigns such as Halo, Gears of War and Nike.
Original “TRON” writer/director Steven Lisberger is a producer on “TRON: Legacy”, along with Sean Bailey and Jeffrey Silver.
Jeff Bridges, winner of both the Oscar and Golden Globe for his role in “Crazy Heart,” reprises the role of Kevin Flynn, which he originated in “TRON” (1982) and Bruce Boxleitner reprises the role of Alan Bradley, which he originated in “TRON” (1982).
Director Joseph Kosinski assembled the highly detailed world of “TRON: Legacy” by enlisting a team of artists who were highly regarded in their fields: vehicle designers, architects, industrial engineers, graphic designers, and illustrators.
The use of light permeates the grid’s lifestyle, from cutting-edge, light-illuminated fashions to light cycles and light discs, and moves seamlessly through architecture, vehicles and clothing as a unifying element.
The world of “TRON: Legacy” features minimalist interiors and modern, light-enhancing architecture and there is extensive use of architectural under-lighting and lighted floor track lines.
In Kevin Flynn’s safe house, neo-Victorian furniture is featured in the minimalist interior, creating a look that blends the old with the new in a provocative way.
The body-molded suits with their distinct lighting patterns are influencing clothes and shoe designers, with “TRON: Legacy” fashion elements showing up on runways and in fashion magazines.
In “TRON: Legacy” Jeff Bridges re-teams with “TRON” comrades Bruce Boxleitner, who plays Alan Bradley, and Steven Lisberger, the director/writer of “TRON,” now producer on “TRON: Legacy.”
Jeff Bridges re-creates the role he originated in 1982’s “TRON,” 28 years ago— possibly the longest ever for an actor between creating and revisiting a role in film.
Garrett Hedlund trained in motorcycle riding, hand-to-hand combat, wirework, Capoeira and parkour to prepare for the role of the extreme sportsman Sam Flynn.
For flashback sequences, Bruce Boxleitner, in his role as Alan Bradley, was transformed into a younger version of himself, thanks to the efforts of hair/makeup and CG magicians.
Anis Cheurfa, who plays Rinzler, is a world-renown martial artist considered a pioneer in Martial Arts Tricking. Rinzler is the elite player in the Grid games and has the ability to split his disc into two weapons.
The Grid is conceptualized as a city filled with light that hosts over a million programs as inhabitants. A mile-high skyscraper towers over the city—at the top is a nightclub, the End of Line Club. The Outlands, a dark and treacherous terrain, lies beyond the edges of the Grid.
- Grid dwellers entertain themselves with gladiator-like games, where combatants square off against each other with light discs and batons, and enjoy watching deadly Lightcycle races in huge stadiums with multi-level tracks.
- “TRON: Legacy” is the first 3D movie to integrate a fully digital head and body upon an existing actor to create a younger version of Jeff Bridges’ character, Kevin Flynn, using advanced Emotion Capture technology developed by Digital Domain.
- “TRON: Legacy” is the first film to use a Helmet Mounted camera (HMC) in live action, allowing the actor to interact with others in a scene.
- “TRON: Legacy” is the first movie to make extensive use of self-illuminated costumes and to create molded costumes using digital sculpture exclusively.
- “TRON: Legacy” is the first movie that was shot with 35mm lenses and full-35mm chip cameras.
- Jeff Bridges is the first actor in cinematic history to play opposite a younger version of himself.
- The light suits were created using electroluminescent lamps made from a flexible polymer film.
- Lightcycle design was inspired by the original sketches of Syd Mead, who designed them for “TRON” back in 1982. Creating Lightcycles that would form visual units with their riders and still give them room to move was a challenge for “TRON: Legacy” vehicle designer Daniel Simon and the rest of the vehicle design team.
- In order to give a sense of reality to the world of the Grid, many sets were built on sound stages, including Flynn’s Arcade, Kevin Flynn’s safe house, and the End of Line Club as well as entire streets, which were built on a greater scale than most real city streets.
- The 3D technology in “TRON: Legacy” was developed post-“Avatar” and represents the most advanced in the world today.
- The film was shot in 3D, but in order to give the audience an immersive experience on the Grid, the opening scenes in the real world are 2D, switching to 3D when Sam enters the Grid.
- Because donning the light suits was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, special inversion boards were provided to allow actors to get off of their feet and recline without endangering the costume.
- The helmets worn by the characters were specifically designed by the costume designers to coordinate with the characters and the look of “TRON: Legacy”—no prop helmets were used.
- Filmmakers reached out to the National Academy of Sciences to advise them on scientific veracity to make sure laws of science supported the ideas and concepts in the film—even if the means to accomplish the ideas do not exist yet.
- The light discs created for the film consist of 134 LED lights, are radio-controlled, and attached to the suits with magnets. In addition, they house the batteries that power the suit lights. They are heavy, so care had to be taken when throwing them on set.
- Several of the vehicles in “TRON: Legacy” were practically fully built for certain scenes, as opposed to computer-generated, in keeping with director Kosinski’s vision of blurring the line between CGI and reality.
- Visual effects supervisor Eric Barba and his team created over 1400 visual effects shots for “TRON: Legacy.”