Tron Legacy's Steve Lisberger Talks About Digitized Actors
As part of the D23 Expo presentations, Disney brought in some of the team behind the upcoming Tron Legacy. While we weren't there, ScreenCrave was, and they got to talk to the original 1982 Tron director Steve Lisberger, who helped write the new sequel and is producing it. They asked him about his thoughts on creating CGI characters, like the younger Flynn (as was reported back in February). Instead of actually answering the question, Lisberger started talking about the idea of creating a realistic artificial intelligence program that can literally replicate a human, which is an intriguing thought in connection with Tron.
"You can start thinking in terms of replacing the actor as a shell, the ghost in the shell if you will. You can replace the shell, but you can't really replace the ghost. The difference for me is that real life has a lot of infinity to it. There are so many things that you don't understand, that we'll never understand, and we can't get a handle on, and cyberspace by its very nature has an element of the finite in it. You can always break it down, you can always figure it out."
"You start thinking, yeah we can have a Jeff Bridges [that] we could replace physically, but the Jeff Bridges that I know, there's a strange brew of mystery, zen master, and crazy artist, and it's all in this non-definable form. I don't think we're even close to saying 'Oh, I've got a piece of software that will mimic that.' But the other one is falling, we've brought down that God, that statue, the physical reality we're gonna beat that. But next comes the human software? That's a long way away."
Even though its been some 27 years since Lisberger made Tron, he's obviously still a fascinating guy to talk with. I'm quite excited to see him working on Tron Legacy again, as it means he'll hopefully try and push the filmmaking boundaries this time just as he did back then. The question for him originally focused on the advancement of technology in creating full CGI characters, like younger versions of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in X-Men 3 and everything done to Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button. However, in relation to the Tron world specifically, where Lisberger took the answer was to an entirely different, yet still intriguing, realm.
So we've seen the first test teaser trailer and early footage from Comic-Con, now we're just waiting to get a real trailer, maybe attached to Avatar this December? It's a long wait until late 2010, but as long as we've got Lisberger and Joe Kosinski leading the way, I don't think I mind waiting for them to get this just right.