March 14, 2012 | 9:08 a.m.

Moebius, remembered: Zack Snyder, Jim Lee and ‘Tron’ director

Jean Giraud, the artist best known as Moebius, died last weekend in France but leaves behind a rich, singular legacy with his comics, his paintings and his work in film on projects such as “Alien” and “Tron.” To learn more about the contours of his legacy, we talked to filmmakers Zack Snyder and Steven Lisberger as well as Jim Lee, the most celebrated comic book artist of the last 20 years. Zack Snyder, director of “Man of Steel” and “300” I was first exposed to Moebius when I was a freshman in high school and in the pages of Heavy Metal magazine; for me it was all the things I needed to see at that point in my evolution. It was sexy and wholly original and intense and the images were about storytelling. It was super-influential on me. There was cinematic quality in the […]
Feb. 20, 2012 | 11:28 a.m.

‘Tron: Uprising’: An early look at Disney’s return to the Grid

The Grid, a world of shimmering, digital wonder, was introduced to moviegoers in 1982 film “Tron” and then taken to a new visual level in “Tron: Legacy” in 2010. Now the Grid is going to television and expanding with a wider mythology and new characters — and more of the sleek, glowing vehicles that fans love. “Tron: Uprising,” which begins this summer on Disney XD, was developed by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the same tandem that wrote “Tron: Legacy,” and they say the freedom of animation is allowing to explore the Grid without the constraints of a special effects budget. “The fun thing about animation is all the stuff we couldn’t afford in [‘Tron: Legacy’], either because they were financially or technologically prohibitive, we can now do because it’s animated,” Kitsis said. The duo, now also working on its […]
May 13, 2011 | 2:31 p.m.

‘Tron’ auction: Jeff Bridges hopes his Grid painting lights it up for charity

Jeff Bridges is a truly restless artist — beyond acting he’s a musician, a photographer, a ceramics artist and a painter. “The painting isn’t something I’ve done as much of — compared to the acting, the music and the ceramics — but when I do get into it, it’s like hanging out with an old friend,” Bridges said. “It’s a wonderful thing using everything you have, and you do that with art. It all comes out and not always in the way you expect. I’ve been painting ever since I was a little kid, and it always surprises me a little.” The 61-year-old Oscar winner called up the other day to talk about one his paintings, which is now being auctioned off for a very worthy cause. More on the cause in a moment, but first a bit about the piece itself: The painting is white […]
May 09, 2011 | 12:48 a.m.

‘Tron’ directors talk lightcycles, Blu-ray and franchise future

When it comes to “Tron” and the digital world it led to both on- and off-screen, there’s no bigger expert than Jay West, a guest writer over the last year for Hero Complex on all things concerning the Grid. He recently attended an event celebrating the release of the 1982 movie and 2010’s “Tron: Legacy” on DVD and Blu-ray at a West Hollywood Best Buy location where he spoke to “Tron” director Steven Lisberger and “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinski and visual effects supervisor Eric Barba (who took home an Oscar for his work on the David Fincher drama “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button“) about how the films play at home, the challenges of creating a youthful representation of Jeff Bridges as the evil computer construct CLU and their favorite movie moments. JW: Many people will see “Tron” and “Tron: Legacy” […]
April 22, 2011 | 5:18 p.m.

‘Tron’ team reflects on ‘Legacy,’ technology and spirituality

When it comes to “Tron” and the digital world it led to both on- and off-screen, there’s no bigger expert than Jay West, a guest writer over the past year for Hero Complex on all things considering the Grid. He checks in once again on a pair of L.A. events that illuminated the growing (and glowing) legacy of the 1982 film. In the month prior to its debut on Blu-ray, the original 1982 “Tron” movie was explored at two landmark Los Angeles events. First was a sold-out 70mm showing at the Aero Theatre on March 5 where its filmmakers discussed the challenges of the film’s production and the development of its pioneering visual effects and techniques. That was followed by the Directors Guild of America on March 12 — where the same group of filmmakers regrouped and further expounded upon the film, there […]
April 06, 2011 | 6:01 p.m.

Bruce Boxleitner: The title star of ‘Tron’ films on his digital past and future

On Tuesday, the original 1982 “Tron” movie and its 2010 sequel “Tron: Legacy” made their Blu-ray debuts. Jay West, a true scholar and world-class collectorwhen it comes to the “Tron” universe has been doing some guest pieces for Hero Complex over the past year and the latest is this interview with actor Bruce Boxleitner, who plays the title role in both “Tron” films as well as Alan Bradley. JW: Your character of Tron, a.k.a. Alan Bradley, is perhaps one of the most iconic and well-known characters in sci-fi movie history. What are some of the reactions and feedback that you get from fans when they talk to you at sci-fi conventions? BB: I’m glad you brought that up because I do a lot of conventions. I was just recently up in Seattle at the Emerald City Comic-Con, with William Shatner and Jonathan Frakes […]
Feb. 15, 2011 | 11:20 a.m.

Teaching ‘Tron’ and guarding ‘Pirates’? Brand consistency in transmedia age

Ben Fritz covers the business of show business for the Los Angeles Times; here’s his latest — a report on a consultant team that helps studios keep their flagship brands on a consistent course… With their mania for film franchises, leading studios are behaving more like packaged goods marketers than the showmen of yore in pumping out movies, and appear more interested in taking direction from fanboys, brand managers and multimedia consultants. So the time appears ripe for consultants such as Jeff Gomez and Mark Pensavalle, co-founders of Starlight Runner Entertainment. Their job: To make sure that stories and characters remain consistent as a movie is reincarnated as, say, a TV series, a video game, a theme park attraction or an online virtual world. Their specialty is called transmedia, a term with roots in academia that has become the latest buzzword […]
Jan. 31, 2011 | 8:40 a.m.

VIDEO: ‘Tron: Jedi Legacy’? Light cycles meet the dark side

It’s Monday, but who really wants to start working? So here’s a bit of clever mash-up fun… — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED: Jeff Bridges comes faces up with CG issue Kosinski: The movie’s meaning has changed for me “Tron”: Disney looks for bright opportunity in dim past VIDEO: “Tron: Legacy” Hero Complex Q&A highlights Daft Punk: We didn’t sell out REVIEW: “Tron: Legacy” glows brightly but lacks life Identity discs, explained — no, they’re not just Frisbees “Tron” glow-in-the-dark posters are retro visions “Tron” creator on “arcane, dark cinema voodoo” Daft Punk gives “Tron: Legacy” a pulse and power  
Jan. 12, 2011 | 12:42 p.m.

‘Tron: Legacy’: Garrett Hedlund’s hard times on the road to fame

Rebecca Keegan has a Los Angeles Times Calendar cover story Tuesday on “Tron: Legacy” star Garrett Hedlund, who is making his mark with roles in “Country Strong” and the upcoming adaptation of “On the Road.” Here’s an excerpt… In 2007, Brazilian director Walter Salles cast Garrett Hedlund as beat character Dean Moriarty in a long-gestating adaptation of Kerouac’s “On the Road” that Francis Ford Coppola was producing. Hedlund, thrilled to earn a serious, artistic, leading role that relied on his vulnerability as much as his physicality, swore to Salles he would take no other part until “On the Road” got off the ground. In a reflection either of his naivete about the fragility of independent film financing or his commitment to Salles — or some combination of the two — Hedlund didn’t work for the next two years. While waiting for […]
Jan. 05, 2011 | 8:51 a.m.

‘Tron: Legacy’ director Joseph Kosinski: ‘The meaning of the movie has changed for me’

“Tron: Legacy” has pulled in $244 million in global box office since its Dec. 17 release, and as far as visual effects and design go,  it has been the most discussed and debated film of 2010. The visions of the movie were achieved by a massive team, but right at the top of that glowing pyramid was Joseph Kosinski, who made his feature-film debut with the movie.  We talked to the filmmaker about the movie’s heritage, modern digital life and those CG faces that left some moviegoers wandering the uncanny valley. GB: The original film was certainly a landmark moment on several levels, but — for someone new coming to it now in 2011 — it may be easier to respect than to actually enjoy. Or do you think that’s unfair to say? JK: Steven Lisberger [“Tron” director] told me, “You’ve […]
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