Monday, March 1, 2010
It's amazing how times change your perception of things...
Take the film "Tron" for example. When it came out it was a huge disappointment to Walt Disney Productions. They expected this to be their new "Star Wars" and when it was released not that many went and saw it. Over time, the storyline has proven to be ahead of its time (not the script, mind you). And as the passage of years goes by it's gathered more and more followers to where it's now a cult hit. Over the past decade there has been talk of finally making a sequel, but most of it was rumors that never made it anywhere other that the whispers of fan boys in pop culture's hallway.
Then there was that concept trailer that Walt Disney Pictures snuck in as a surprise for Comic-Con attendees a couple years ago. The crowds reaction was the final element needed to get the Suits to pull the trigger on the sequel. Soon with the release of "Alice" an actual 3D teaser for the film can be seen for the first time. This is the one many people got to check out last week when they followed that viral campaign to several locations across the country. And come late summer you can expect an actual trailer with more of the journey into the world of Tron. It's evolved a lot in a generation and this holiday season we're finally going to get to see it. We're a long way from the disappointment of 1982.
It's taken twenty-eight years to change this. 2010 will be a huge year for the sequel to Tron. Huge. And should the box office returns provide what Disney Suits with smiling faces then you can expect a whole lot more over the coming years. On the theatrical front, this could be the beginning of a new trilogy. And I'm not talking about including the original Tron. If all goes according to plan you could see this as the first in a trilogy of films that start with the word "Tron" and end somewhere else... Legacy is only the beginning. There are preliminary plans to milk this into a franchise of "Pirate" proportions. And the buzz from it so far is very good.
And that's not the only Tron project they're planning on having for us in the possible future. The plans have been put into motion for a computer animated television series that could conceivably be up by late 2011/early 2012. This would be something of a placeholder to keep the fans interest still peaked in between this first film and the next one. No word yet on where it will wind up being broadcast. It's not known if it'll be staged for the Mouse's fledgling boy channel Disney XD or the more mainstream ABC network, but as of now the concept has been greenlit for a pilot. We'll see how this project evolves down the development line as the film's release gets closer.
Then there is the merchandise that you're going to see flood the parks come this October/November. Expect Tomorrowland to be filled with all things Tron. And some of the areas are being talked about getting "thematic" makeovers. If you're into Retro-Eighties with the Captain Eo attraction back for a limited run, then prepare for more, albeit fictional nostalgia. Should it get approved, you might get to see the arcade next to Space Mountain turned into a variation of "Flynn's Arcade." We'll cross our fingers and see if the Suits make the call on this one.
Naturally, there's the talk of a Tron attraction at Disneyland and various other theme parks. WDI is working on concepts for a Tron experience, but don't expect a fully immersive Tron Legacy attraction by the time the film opens. Any attraction wouldn't be seen in Tommowland until 2012 at the earliest... but that doesn't mean there won't be surprises between now and then.
I've been told that nothing has been signed off on for an E-Ticket, but Imagineers are working to create an impressive addition to the already talked about elaborate expansion of Disneyland for the sixtieth anniversary. While my Bothans were spare with the details since they are in the embryonic phase, they none-the-less said that the concepts are pure, Disney spectacle and absolute techno-geek magic. There are many things that are being planned in this blue sky phase, but remember that it's early. Just like the Tron universe, these designs/plans are likely to evolve.
Box office results will factor into this so remember that mileage may vary depending on what the final tally is. Either way, the word for Disney's future is out there.
And it's spelled T-R-O-N...