While we can't give you too many specific details on what we saw, we can tell you that we had the chance to screen the official trailer in 3D and watch in 2D the footage that was shown at Comic-Con, as well as a few additional scenes. All in all we saw roughly thirty minutes of the movie, give or take, and in short ... it was freaking amazing! The effects, which were not even finalized yet, looked awesome. The action is fantastic and the film's plot is clever and original. We can't wait for the movie's official release later this year and think that fans of the original and even sci-fi audiences that have never seen the first film are going to be blown away by the incredible effects and the movie's loving homage to its predecessor. After the screening we had an opportunity to speak with one of the film's writers, Adam Horowitz, a former staff writer on the hit show Lost, to discuss the exciting new movie, the process of writing it and the joy of bringing Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner back together on the silver screen. Here is what he had to say:
Obviously, Jeff Bridges involvement with this sequel was pivotal to creating the story that you wanted to tell. Did you begin writing the script hoping that he would like it and want to do it or did you get his approval before you began penning the screenplay?
Do you think it was the new technology that's available, revisiting the character or something else entirely that excited him about returning?
Adam Horowitz: Well you'd have to ask Jeff that but I think that he has always had a fondness for Tron. Like when we first met him, we went to his house and at one point we were pitching him the movie when he said, "Wait, hold on." He ran upstairs and got the original Tron helmet and put it on. He was like, "Do you want to wear it?" We were like, "If we must." Do I have pictures of myself in the Tron helmet at home? Yes!
So clearly you were a "Tron" fan even before you started working on this project, is that right?
Adam Horowitz: Yes. It wasn't like I walked around saying, "Hey, do you want to see my Light cycle." It's funny my partner, Eddie Kitsis and I, one of our first jobs was writing for a WB television show called Popular. It was a Ryan Murphy show. You would be surprised what a geek Ryan is. We wrote an episode of the show and the storyline was about two kids in high school that were about to be grounded but had to do well on a project at school so they could get to a midnight screening of Tron with Bruce Boxleitner as guest. That was the driving thing of the whole episode. So that was always in our DNA, we were always thinking about it and loving it. Then we went from that and ended up writing a few other shows but eventually we wrote Lost for six years and that is a little more in the Tron genre. That has always been our thing, character based genre. Tron seemed like a great fit for that.
Was having Bruce Boxleitner back and involved as well essential to making this sequel?
Adam Horowitz: Well Bruce had to be involved, the movie is called Tron after all. I remember first meeting Bruce. It was at the table read. Bruce and Jeff were together and I mean they had seen each other over the years but it was the first time in this Tron context that they had been together in a long time so it was really cool. I remember thinking, is this really happening? Is this my life?
Adam Horowitz: When we went to Comic Con in '09 that is when it began to get real for me. Watching the fans go in to Flynn's Arcade to see the Light cycle, Eddie and I, we went in with Joe, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. It was funny because no one really knew who Garrett or Olivia were at that time so we were just mingling with the crowd and getting there reactions. It was unreal. At that point we had just wrapped photography. It was like two weeks later when that happened and we were just like, "Wow, now we only have eighteen months of post left to go. Lets not fuck this up." But Joe has always been cool as ice. He knows what he wants to do, he knows how to execute it and he just goes and does it.
Visually is what he's created similar to what you had imagined in your head when you were writing it?
Adam Horowitz: It's funny, as we wrote it we would send pages to Joe and he had artwork made as we were doing it. So it was this very collaborative thing. We'd be writing the disc game sequence and then Joe would show us what the arena would look like, what he was seeing for the gladiators and all that so it was a constantly evolving vision. It started with a couple of artists and Joe, then as it went along the art team got bigger and bigger until one day Eddie and I were like, "I think they are going to make this movie." It used to be just us and Joe, then it was like a hundred people working on the project.
As such a big fan of the source material, did you ever find that when you were writing the script that perhaps you began geeking out on a particular tangent from the original that didn't really serve this story so you had to pull it back a bit?
Adam Horowitz: I'm sure in early drafts we did. Here's how we looked at it. There is a slice of the universe that you can experience in under a hundred and ten minutes. We have to tell our story and stay on focus. The natural process of writing for us is thinking up a bigger world than you can ever really do. You have to do it like that if you want to have a sense of that richness and depth of mythology. So it starts here and then we hone it down to this. What happens is you make the story as focused as you can and what you try to do, and you'll see it in the movie, is have as many nods to the first film, Easter eggs and stuff that hopefully fans of the first film will get excited about. The goal was always to make a film that was a follow up to the first movie. One that fans that had never seen the first film can go in and see and then go back and watch the first movie and see how they come together. Then fans of the first one will get a thrill when they see the ENCOM tower or Alan Bradley and some other things that I'm not going to tell you about now.
Adam Horowitz: I spent six years writing Lost so its kind of just reamed in me from that experience and I think that attitude carried over into this, which is: always assume that the audience wants to be treated with intelligence. That they want to be treated like they don't need things handed to them, that they are willing to work for it. I truly believe audiences like to be rewarded for digging past just what you show them. Movie going can be an active experience or a passive experience and you want it to work on all levels. That's the great thing about this movie is that you can go in and just enjoy the ride or it can be something else.
Finally, did you leave any loose ends in the movie's conclusion for a possible third film if this one does well?
Adam Horowitz: We just hope everyone enjoys this but they do have me under contract. Right now we are all focused on finishing this one and making it the best that we can.