SDCC 2012 – TRON: Uprising Panel Recap & Gallery

TRON: Uprising tells the story of one city on the Grid, Argon City, where Tron (voiced by the original Tron himself, Bruce Boxleitner) and Beck (Elijah Wood) fight the forces of Clu and his henchmen, General Tesler. The 18 episode series bridges the gap between the original 1982 film TRON, and the 2010 sequel TRON: Legacy. Viewers will see what happened in the Grid after Clu’s betrayal of Flynn and Tron, and gives an insight into the day to day life of a program on the Grid.

The Comic Con panel included Charlie Bean (Executive Producer and Director), Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Consulting Producers who are the creative team behind TRON: Legacy), Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Tricia Helfer (Voice of the Grid), Alberto Mielgo (Art Director), and Rob Valley (Lead Character Designer) and was moderated by Josh Dickey from Daily Variety.

  • The creative team behind the show are treating it as if they are creating a new canon. TRON is a great world with potential for new mythology. While the two films are about seeing the Grid from the perspective of the user, the series is about what life is like on the Grid for the average program.
  • While writing Legacy the screenwriters had many ideas they wanted to explore that they couldn’t touch in a two hour movie. They feel that the beauty of the series is that it allows for that.
  • In Legacy Flynn talks about how special the Grid is, in Uprising they are able to show that.
  • According to Dickey, Wood needs to join Star Trek 3 for the Holy Trifecta, having already started with Lord of the Rings and TRON. I think he forgot Star Wars.
  • Wood was already a fan of Legacy and excited to join in something he’d grown up aware of, though he admits to not having seen the original film as a child. Considering he was one when the film was released, you’ve gotta give him a pass on that one.
  • When jokes are made about how Bridges and Boxleitner were on set for the original film “smoking cigarettes” which is of course a euphamism for Marijuana, Wood quotes “Digital Jazz man” from Legacy, proving he really is a bit of a TRON nerd.
  • Boxleitner brings attention to the fact that the week before the panel was the films 30th Anniversary. With Back To The Future, and even Blade Runner getting so much recognition for their 25th and 30th anniversaries recently, why isn’t any hoopla being made by Disney about TRON’s anniversary?
  •  Wood, Boxleitner, and HelferWood and Boxleitner have only been in the studio together once while recording voice overs for Uprising.
  • Boxleitner may have been at the forefront of the Digital Age for which TRON is a great mythology, but he admits to not knowing what he was doing.
  • “Everybody thinks it was all put into a computer and came out of a toaster” – Boxleitner, explaining that much of the film was actually painted by hand.
  • The 1982 film was exempted from the Oscars in the Animation Category because they had “cheated” by using a computer. Boy, how the times have changed.
  • Boxleitner calls Helfer the “Goddess of the Grid.”
  • Helfer admits to having been born before the original film was released, but was not aware of it.
  • The panel try, but are unable to come up with a suitable term for TRON fans, ala Trekkies or Whovians. Tronies sounds too much like Trannies for Boxleitners liking. Wood suggests Programs, after having heard the suggestion previously from fans of the films and series.
  • Helfer says they played with several variations of the voice for the Grid, but settled on a very Onstar or Siri like voice. Though Helfer herself confesses that she hates Siri as she can never get the program to do what she wants.
  • Helfer confesses she feels guilty sounding so pleasant in her recordings for the program when at times she says some really nasty things.
  • Mielgo started his career painting on computers, which makes his work on this project easier.
  • The animators made a point to make the shows picture quality good enough that even if viewed on a high resolution screen and it would still hold up.
  • The audience was shown the following trailer for an upcoming episode, “Scars” – the episode will help to bridge the backstory of Tron and Flynn’s betrayal by Clu, and tell the story of how Tron becomes Rinzler.


  • Boxleitner says that Rinzler “purrs like a kitty.”
  • The series is a development of the overall mythology of the TRON universe, and yes, they are working on developing the sequel to TRON: Legacy, so Uprising will be tied to that.
  • Creators hope to release a soundtrack for the series at some point after this first season (of what is hoped to be many, at least by us fans) has completed.
  • Animators wanted to avoid usual path taken by others adapting a live action world into an animated world which is to reduce characters to cutesy characters with large heads and over pronounced features.
  • Bruce Boxleitner

    Boxleitner threatens to take out the crowd so he can keep a Disc.

    There is a “Bible” for the Uprising that details how they would like it to connect with Legacy, and where the show could continue from there.

  • There are no merchandising plans at present, and any future talk would depend upon the popularity of the show. The creators admit they are in it for the toys of the vehicles.
  • And then Boxleitner attempted to Derez the audience in his bid to keep for himself one of the signed Discs that were being handed out to select members of the crowd. He is Tron you know. They should have let him keep it.

Photo Credit: Matt Wheeler