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Home > The Enduring Legacy of ‘Tron: Legacy’ and the High Expectations for ‘Tron: Ares’

The Enduring Legacy of ‘Tron: Legacy’ and the High Expectations for ‘Tron: Ares’

Jeff Bridges as Clu | Image via Walt Disney Studios

Lots to Live Up To

Throughout the history of film, few movies have been able to achieve the visual spectacle and grandeur that is delivered in 2010’s Tron: Legacy. Being a sequel to a flick that revolutionized digital and graphic-based filmmaking, it was able to live up to its predecessor in terms of its astounding visual achievements. Now, over the horizon of the digital frontier, appears a long-awaited successor with the upcoming Tron: Ares. The continuation of the franchise has a lot to live up to in several areas, but in a general sense, it is tasked with the difficulty of maintaining the charm that its 2010 predecessor provided. In addition to its narrative and visual ventures, it must also succeed in the soundtrack realm, as the 2010 iteration saw the conception of one of film’s most acclaimed soundtracks, composed by legendary duo Daft Punk. 

Visual Innovation on a Digital Frontier

After 1982’s voyage into The Grid (the main setting of the film), Tron: Legacy sought to expand its reach into the captivating lore of the franchise. Building off what had already been made with the original film, the 2010 sequel created an immersive visual experience into the digital frontier. This time around, the world of The Grid felt more alive and akin to the real world the audience inhabits. It didn’t just take the futuristic visuals route; it, instead, decided to take inspiration from several civilizations of both the past and present whilst also making it a captivating light show that provided important context to the narrative itself. One example of this is seen in the tournament style games that take up the first half of the film. The Disc Wars game specifically served to be a more visually stylized version of games that gladiators would play in ancient Rome. 

Tron: Legacy’s director, Joseph Kosinski, (also the director of Top Gun: Maverick) expressed how he envisioned the Grid as a dark, vast and industrial world. This vision would directly translate into the need for a lighting overhaul. This allowed for the lighting crew to play around with creating vibrant set-pieces that complimented the darkness of the world itself.  

A Sonic Odyssey

Alongside a discussion of Tron: Legacy, there must always be a mention of its groundbreaking soundtrack. Composed by French electronic music duo Daft Punk, the film’s soundtrack was able to move mountains in the way that it exalted the world’s atmosphere and immersion. By creating an electronically-dominating soundtrack, the film’s world suddenly became more believable. It wasn’t just electronic music though, as many moments during the album’s time frame included the masterful use of orchestration and traditional composition. 

OlIvia Wilde as Quorra and Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn | Image via Walt Disney Studios

The soundtrack was not only able to exude sonic brilliance; it played a grand part in shaping the emotional landscape of the film. Tracks like “Rinzler” and “End of Line” have gone beyond their original purpose to become iconic gems within Daft Punk’s innovative blend of genres. What Daft Punk created with the Tron: Legacy soundtrack didn’t just help the movie; it allowed it to become the cornerstone of musical storytelling that it is regarded as today.

The Challenges and Opportunities for Tron: Ares

As Tron: Ares begins filming and goes into production, expectations from fans are high. The cast and crew have plenty to live up to when it comes to continuing along the lines of their predecessors. They must tackle the hurdles with unbound creative intelligence in order to get proper success out of the franchise they are trying to continue. 

One of the most difficult challenges the film faces is honoring the story that was built by the previous two films, whilst also creating something that is relevant to today’s audiences. Since 2010, the digital frontier of the real world has undergone many significant changes with things like the abundance of electric vehicles and most importantly, machine learning (AI). 

Fans are eager to see what they can come up with, but are already facing anxiety towards some creative decisions being made regarding the upcoming installment. This includes not bringing back director Joseph Kosinski, especially after the immense success he had in directing Top Gun: Maverick. Another major worry for fans is that Daft Punk has given no signs of returning to the franchise to compose another soundtrack. Many, however, saw this as a given because the duo retired from making music in 2021. Overall, Tron: Ares has a lot of challenges on its plate and it will be interesting to see how they can manage it.

Tron: Legacy, although not too financially successful during its original box office run, was able to garner a cult following that appreciates the film’s advancements in visual storytelling. Whether it was the story, the visuals, or the music, Tron: Legacy became an iconic landmark in the film realm that can be said to sit alongside the impact of 2009’s Avatar. Tron: Ares now seeks to build on that cult success that the 2010 installment built. Although they are faced with many obstacles impeding their potential success, it’s still definitely possible for the cast and crew to pull off an outstanding continuation to the franchise. 

Image via Walt Disney Studios

Official Disney Tron: Legacy Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Hi! I am a Dramatic Writing and Performing Arts major at SCAD from Puerto Rico. I have an intense passion for all things film, tv, and music. I believe everyone has a story to tell, and putting it out there is the most important.

Elisabeth joined Dead Talk News in 2022 and loves movies and TV! After working for various sites, including Screen Rant and Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Elisabeth joined DTN to critique and review various movies, from horror flicks to Disney live-actions.