Disney brought back last year's favorite moderator Patton Oswalt to introduce the Tron panel, and you know what that means: a moderator unafraid to make The Big Lebowski references in front of Jeff Bridges. Before the cast took the stage Oswalt introduced a short documentary about the "cultural influence of Tron," which collected references to the show from The Simpsons, Honda commercials and even 30 Rock. It was all scored to Daft Punk, of course, and who was surprised to see that their 2009 Grammy performance was also Tron-inspired?
No fewer than 8 people took the stage for the Q&A, including director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, original Tron creator Steven Lisberger, and of course the cast everyone came to see-- Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, Jeff Bridges, and Tron himself Bruce Boxleitner. Especially following up on the joke a minute Megamind panel, the Q&A itself felt a little slow-- lots of talk about how hard the training was, how tight the costumes are, how honored they are to be part of the Tron legacy. Believe it or not Michael Sheen was the one who showed up with the jokes. Mentioning his impressive growth of facial hair, he explained, "I thought everyone was supposed to dress as a character when they came [to Comic Con], so I came as Jeff Bridges, and then he shaved his beard off!" He also genuflected to his Oscar-winning co-star by adding, "It's a 4D film, because Jeff Bridges brings the extra dimension of awesomeness." He basically sounds like he could be sitting out here in the crowd with the rest of us.
I'll be filling in this story with more details and liveblogs from the rest of the very long Tron: Legacy panel, so stay tuned!
11:46 They're showing 8 minutes of the movie! The crowd goes wild and Patton reminds us not to bootleg-- as if. Back in a bit.
11:55 OK most of what they showed was an extended sequence of Sam FLynn's (Garrett Hedlund) arrival in the world of Tron, picked up on a giant ship with a bunch of other "programs," outfitted with his own skintight outfit accented with lights, and sent into a giant area to participate in "games." At the end there were a few more individual clips of other moments, including Michael Sheen's completely over the top looking Bowie inspired bad guy and a shot of a light jet that assembles itself in midair-- very cool. We also saw Clu Flynn, a.k.a. 35 years younger Jeff Bridges, speaking, which is a little eerier and very awesome at the same time. Much more on the footage later, but first, something even cooler just happened.
12:00 So this is great. The technicians from Skywalker Sound just came to record the entire Hall H audience for possible inclusion in the movie. We were instructed by the screen to shout things like "Disk Wars!" "De Rez" and "Rinzler!", and also stomp our feet and generally cheer really loud. It was pretty incredible to see the entirety of this giant crowd come together and cooperate, and director Joe Kosinski seemed pretty happy with what we gave, so maybe we'll really make it in. I took some photos of the instructional screen, so stay tuned for that.
12:05 Time for audience questions. Someone asked Jeff Bridges to talk about the father/son relationship in the film, and he said "I'm a movie fan, and I like knowing as little as possible about a movie before I see it." Good answer Jeff. Even the information-hungry Hall H crowd supports him on that one. The mysteries of the Flynn family remain intact.
12:07 Jeff Bridges just took a moment to tell us all to stop drinking bottled water. I have no idea what it has to do with Tron, but I support him in that too. The Dude abides.
12:12 Included some shots below of the instructional screen for the audio recording, along with one of Bridges during his anti-bottled water screed, just for good measure.
12:14 The audience Q&A is still going on. The questions are all either creepy and aimed toward Olivia Wilde or uninteresting softballs. How has Jeff Bridges' acting process changed over the years? Why did they call it Tron: Legacy? Come on Hall H, we're better than this.
12:15 Ooh a good question! An older member of the crowd asks if there are plans to re-release the original Tron, and if it will be in 3D, and Kosinski slyly dodges: "I think you cane expect to see the original Tron in some pretty exciting formats very soon." That's not confirmation that Tron will be re-released in 3D, but it's pretty damn close.
12:20 For the grand finale they premiered the new trailer. It includes a lot of what we saw in the 8 minutes of footage, including the light jet that forms in midair. Check it out, watch it over and over. it was great.
12:21 A surprise! 12:22 Jack Sparrow, in 3D and offering us rum through the screen. Pirates 4 comes in May.
12:28 Whoah, a real surprise! Guilermo del Toro takes the stage to announce he's rebooting The Haunted Mansion for Disney! It's live action and in 3D, of course, "and we're making the Haunted Mansion the most haunted place on earth." "We're being true to the original art and aesthetic or the original Imagineers who created the mansion. We are not returning Eddie Murphy's calls."