Tron’ Creator Guides Third Movie as Obi-Wan Figure


As Disney gears up for the highly anticipated Tron 3, also known as Tron: Ares, exciting developments are taking place. Evan Peters, known for his role in Dahmer, has joined the cast of the third installment, adding to the growing anticipation. But what’s even more thrilling is that Steven Lisberger, the creator of the Tron universe, has given his blessing to the project.

During an appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s It Happened in Hollywood podcast, Lisberger, the writer and director of the groundbreaking 1982 film Tron, revealed that he has taken on the role of a Jedi Master, offering guidance and advice to the next generation of Tron filmmakers, drawing inspiration from another famous sci-fi franchise.

Lisberger, now 72, expressed his confidence in the Tron team, stating that they are hard at work and assuring fans that Tron 3 will indeed happen. Reflecting on his involvement, he likened his role to that of Obi-Wan Kenobi, aiming to deliver impactful advice in concise sentences without getting too deeply involved in the intricacies of the filmmaking process.

Recalling his own experience making the original Tron, Lisberger shared a story about seeking advice from animation elders. At the time, they had created a storyboard movie for Tron 1, and Lisberger was eager to show it to one of Disney’s Nine Old Men, renowned animators. However, the response he received was less than he expected, with the elder animator essentially telling him that he was on his own. Despite this, Lisberger recognized the value of mentorship and now strives to offer useful insights to the current Tron filmmakers.

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Although the original Tron received a muted response upon its release, it has since gained a cult following and garnered admiration from science-fiction enthusiasts, futurists, and gamers alike. The film opened to a modest $4 million in its first weekend and grossed $33 million domestically, with a production budget of $20 million. Lisberger attributes part of the initial reception to misguided comparisons with the nostalgia-laden Star Wars, which was a hit at the time. Tron, on the other hand, was considered avant-garde and didn’t resonate with the mainstream audience. However, he believes that with time, the film’s significance has continued to rise, as it was ahead of its time and required years to be fully appreciated.

Lisberger points out that Tron explored concepts such as computer security and artificial intelligence, which are now commonplace but were less understood back in the ’80s. He highlights the backlash against computers during that era and even suggests that Tron was ahead of industry pioneers like Steve Jobs. The networking portrayed in the film, particularly in the last scene, was based on the ARPANET, the precursor to the internet developed by the U.S. military.

Tron: Ares, directed by Joachim Rønning (known for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), is scheduled to begin filming in Vancouver in August. The upcoming podcast episode of It Happened in Hollywood delves deeper into the making of Tron, offering fans a fascinating journey through Hollywood history.

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