Someone doesn't have a Clu...
Earlier this year, Steven Lisberger, the Father of Tron, mentioned that a new high definition remaster of Tron was currently in the works to be released by the end of the year to coincide with Disney's theatrical release of Tron Legacy. Since then there has oddly been no official announcement and with just over 8 weeks to go no pre-release date in sight it's beginning to look like Tron will be MIA on blu-ray this year.
Word has it that earlier this summer the original Tron was screened at one of the theme parks and was laughed at by people who had not seen the original film and mocked it for its now-outdated effects and silly attire of leotards and hockey helmets parodied by the infamous "Tron Guy." Rumor has it that some Disney execs witnessed their reactions and it made them very, very nervous.
Understandable since they've spent millions marketing their "new and improved" Tron Legacy which they hope will be embraced by a new generation of fans. Since then plans to release the original Tron on blu-ray to generate interest in the sequel seem to have been scrapped out of fear that this product of a by-gone era would backfire and turn off their vital demographic from flocking to theaters to see Tron Legacy in December.
Word has it the original Tron will not be released now until sometime next year around the time Legacy is released on DVD and Blu-ray, long after all the box office grosses for Legacy are in. Normally, studios will strategically time the release of catalog DVD and Blu-ray sales to generate hype for a franchise installment and reciprocally to give home video sales a push but this seems to mark the beginning of what could become a counter-trend for studios looking to capture a new fanbase without any expectations or preconceptions.
Could the same fear and paranoia apply to Disney's marketing plans for their eminent remake of The Black Hole? As a fan of both of these classic Disney films I am disappointed that I will not be able to enjoy seeing Tron remastered in glorious high definition before going to see Legacy but I am deeply concerned by how this could impact reception of it my millions of people who have not even seen the original film and how they could potentially regard Legacy as the defacto Tron film and shrug off the original 28 year-old film as a relic of the Atari age.
Tron was cutting-edge for its day and decades ahead of its time but like all films in retrospect is a product of the period in which it was made and should be appreciated as such for what it is and its rightful place in cinematic history. Is Disney deliberately trying to sweep memories of it under the rug to be forgotten so that Legacy will be received as the definitive start of a new franchise? The very thought of it gives me pause and sends a shudder of discomfort up my spine. It almost seems like they are trying to re-write the program.
End of Line.