Comic-Con: TRON: UPRISING Panel Shows Tron’s Path Towards Rinzler, Mythology, Character Design, and More

     July 15, 2012


Greetings, Programs!  Room 6A on Friday morning was treated to an in-depth and detailed look at the upcoming episodes of TRON: Uprising, one of my favorite animated shows on television right now.  If you loved the look and feel of TRON: Legacy, this show definitely has you covered.  However, for those that really wanted the mythology of Tron explored, this show fits that bill as well.  The show picks up not long before Legacy and tells the story of Tron’s first renegade alliance with a fellow program.  For fans, we were treated to a sneak peek at an excellent episode that will showcase how Tron got his distinctive scar and how he eventually turned bad.  Hit the jump for a full panel recap.

tron uprising imageModerating the panel was a sweaty but enthusiastic Josh Dickey, the film editor for Variety. He started the panel off by simply gushing on the TRON property and how he saw the original at 10 years old and it blew his mind.  He loves this melding of man and machine, and how it isn’t that far off.  Josh then introduced the entire panel, starting with creator and showrunner Charlie Bean, producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, actor Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Tricia Helfer (The Grid), art designer Alberto Nielgo and lead character designer Rob Valley.  We were then treated to a sizzle reel bringing fans up to speed and showing some of the best moments.  I really think they did this to show off the awesome visuals and music, which was rocking the whole room.

  • Legacy just wasn’t enough time to fully explore all they wanted, but they really feel like this is the whole shebang and they are having a blast exploring the entire Grid.
  • Josh jokingly asks Elijah Wood if he has plans on completing the geek trifecta by joining Star Trek as well after Tron and Lord of the Rings. Elijah admits that he’s a nerd at heart, and that this is a lot of fun. He also added that while he hadn’t seen the original film because he was too young when it release, he had played the game and definitely was familiar with the franchise and the world.  Then when Legacy came out he had to see it.
  • Dickey asks what it was like for Bruce to be sitting on set with Bridges, smoking cigarettes and being on set.  How everything has been like to see it evolve.  “Cigarettes? Really? With The Dude? You think he smokes cigarettes,” joked Bruce. He then revealed that it was 30 years ago last week when Tron first came out.
  • tron-uprising image“We didn’t know what we were doing when we were doing it,” says Boxleitner about the original film. He added, “Everyone thinks we did it on a computer and it just came out of a toaster.” Instead, each frame was hand painted overseas.
  • In 1982, they were actually exempt from the Oscars because. “They claimed we cheated by using a computer,” said Boxleitner.
  • Dickey jokes with Tricia Helfer about her work on the show; “You’re the voice of a whole entire world.  What’s your method?  What’s your motivation?”  She mentions how she was never a real fan of the films originally.  She asks what the fans are called.  “Tron-ys?”  “I’ve heard ‘Brograms’,” added Dickey.  “Well, trannies are a whole other thing,” quipped Boxleitner.
  • She then adds that their goal was this always pleasant voice.  Sort of like a mix between Siri and On*Star voice.
  • When asked about the combination of technologically smooth and yet elements of tactile feel in the art, Nielgo mentioned that it all came about because of the way he learned to paint professionally.  He used to dabble on a surface, but he really learned his art in a 100% digital format.  He didn’t want it to look acrylic or like water colors, but instead digital.
  • Next Rob Valley explained his process for the development of the character models.  He mentions he wanted them to look otherworldly, and to be interracial.  No real defining characteristics that we can relate to.  He adds that it isn’t really politically correct. Kitsis says that in the original works, that’s exactly the aesthetic they were going for.
  • tron uprising posterDickey prodded Kitsis about the possibility of seeing Beck in a third TRON film.  Kitsis revealed that they are currently developing a sequel to TRON: Legacy.
  • We were then treated to a sneak peak at a two-part episodes named “Scar” that will air in a few weeks.  Charlie Bean teased that this was the first time we really see a connection to Legacy and how Tron turned into Rinzler.
  • We are shown an orange and black cloaked figure that isn’t recognizable.  Is it Rinzler?  No, too soon.  He is on a mission directly from Clu.  We see a huge ship head towards Tron’s island base.  A warning screen pops up and we see a name: DYSON.  Who is that?  A flashback shows that Dyson is the one that betrayed Tron.  The one that actually gave him his scar and weakened him.  We are shown some battles and see Tron truly angry.  He is going after Dyson with all he can, and we see the scar start to expand across Tron’s face.  His voice and demeanor has become scary, and we see Beck try and stop Tron from going after Dyson so much.  Tron defeats Beck easily, and we see him really transform.  The footage looks fantastic and even better than one could hope.  Looks like it is going really dark and upping the scale.

The panel ended with a lively Q&A in which they took a few questions and then raffled off signed light discs.

  • Why the proportions of the characters?  “There’s a tendency of making a cartoon from a film to make things cute and scrunched up.  But we needed to be taken seriously,” says Bean.  He added that this has a lot more detail than standard animation and that Rob and Alberto were his first two calls when coming up with how he wanted the show to look.
  • Potential for more merchandising, asks a fan.  He adds that the TRON: Legacy toys were fantastic.  “We do it all for the toys,” joked Kitsis.

To catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2012 coverage, click here.