Interview with Joe Kosinski - Director of Tron Legacy

By The Editor
April 4, 2011 - 23:52

This interview is the transcript part of a live online interview with Joe Kosinski that The Comic Book Bin was invited to cover

CBB: How's the Blu-ray presentation? Is  there open matte scenes from the IMAX like The Dark Knight Blu-ray  presentation?
  Joseph Kosinski: Yes, all of the IMAX scenes are presented in full frame.

CBB: Some viewers criticized CLU's  face - they say it was unreal, a little bit fake - do you think there is some  truth in this criticism?

Joseph Kosinski: Clu was certainly the most technically and conceptually  ambitious aspect we chose to tackle on this film. There is nothing more  difficult than creating a realistic human face, especially if it is someone we  know like Jeff Bridges. I do hear the criticism, but I think I speak for the  whole team when I say that we would rather be criticized for trying something  new rather than for not trying at all.

CBB: Why couldn't Flynn just reprogram  Clu to accept a less than perfect existence? I'm not sure how Clu grew more  powerful than the Creator. Can you explain?
  Joseph Kosinski: Clu represents a copy of Kevin Flynn at an age when he was at  his most ambitious and one could say most egotistical. Over the last 20 years,  Kevin Flynn has wizened with age and learned the hard way that his priorities  were out of balance. Unfortunately, Clu does not mature in the same way; he is  essentially frozen in time. Flynn's battle with Clu is in a way a battle with  the man he used to be and Sam is caught in the middle.

CBB: What do you want people to  remember from your film 20 years from now?
  Joseph Kosinski: Hopefully it will be seen as an ambitious film for its time  and inspire some young kid out there to dream, as the first one did for me.

CBB: Do you think the world of Tron  will be a very similar to the future of Humanity?
  Joseph Kosinski: I hope not.

CBB: Tron Legacy has an interesting  digital relationship with real technology in our lives. Science-fiction can sometimes  be an outline for our technological growth. Was there anything in Legacy that  you modeled from real-life?
  Joseph Kosinski: The idea of 'genetic algorithms' and 'quantum teleportation'  are real concepts currently being researched right now. We met with scientists  from CalTech and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to make sure that the science  in our film was accurate.

CBB: Did you rework or re-edit any of  the actual shots in the film? Maybe clean them up like the Star Wars Special  Editions?
  Joseph Kosinski: No, I just tweaked the soundtrack for the Blu-ray.

CBB: How do you think 3D helps draw  viewers further into the world of the movie?
  Joseph Kosinski: I think when used correctly it can create a more immersive  experience. It should never be a distraction.

CBB: Who came up with the idea to name  the barkeep "Zuse"?
  Joseph Kosinski: I asked the writers to pull together a list of computer  pioneers. Konrad Zuse created one of the first functional computers.

CBB: I'm a big fan of your supporting  cast from James Frain to Michael Sheen. They're such marvelous actors, were  they a joy to direct?
  Joseph Kosinski: Yes, they were both fantastic to work with. Both brought  unexpected aspects to their characters which as a director is exactly what you  hope for.

CBB: After making TL, do you feel that  society should be concerned about technology or should it be embraced?
  Joseph Kosinski: Both. I think that technology can be an incredible tool. We  wouldn't be able to create a movie like this without it. However it needs to be  watched so that it doesn't interfere with our personal relationships.

CBB: If Kevin Flynn's body was  transported into Tron and he seemingly sacrificed himself at the end of TL,  does that mean he is no longer alive, or has he transformed into something  else?
  Joseph Kosinski: Reintegration is a mysterious thing. Flynn's code is still in  there, fragmented....

CBB: Do you think that you were chosen  to direct Tron Legacy because of your background in design and architecture?
  Joseph Kosinski: Not solely, but to make a movie like this you have to be  interested in creating a whole world and for me that was an exciting challenge.

CBB: How much virtual time *did* Flynn  spend on the Grid? I believe the writers mentioned something about 28,000  cycles...?
  Joseph Kosinski: The ratio of Grid Time to Real World time is about 50:1. So 21  years would be over a thousand years on the Grid.

CBB: What is your favorite shot in  Tron Legacy?
  Joseph Kosinski: I always liked the shot of Sam and Quorra in the dark hallway,  illuminating each other only with the light coming from their suits. It's a  shot you can only have in Tron.

CBB: If it's up to you, would you want  to helm Tron 3?
  Joseph Kosinski: If we can come up with the right story, then absolutely.

CBB: Could you talk a little bit about  Daft Punk's participation? Their score was awesome, who had the idea to involve  them with TL?
  Joseph Kosinski: I have been a fan of theirs for a long time so I set up a  meeting with them back in 2007, before I had even shot the test piece. I told  them I wanted to create a classic film score that blended electronic and  classical music in a way that hadn't been done before. They were amazing  collaborators and I am very proud of the work they did.

CBB: Are you working on the Tron  animated series at all?
  Joseph Kosinski: No, but a number of writers and producers from TL are involved  with it.

CBB: Which character in the film is  most like you in your real life?
  Joseph Kosinski: Well when I started working on this film I would have said  Sam, but now I feel more like Flynn.

CBB: The first Tron became a reference  for geeks. Weren't you afraid that your film would be categorized as a geeks'  movie and only that?
  Joseph Kosinski: Absolutely. We tried to get the word out that this was a film  that non-geeks could enjoy. Thankfully word of mouth helped with that.

CBB: Would you like to live in a world  like TRON?
  Joseph Kosinski: I did for three years. It's nice to be back in the real world  now.

CBB: You're also developing the Black  Hole remake. What can you tell us about that?
  Joseph Kosinski: We are currently working on a script with Travis Beachem. I am  very excited about the potential of this project.

CBB: How exactly was it possible for  Quorra to materialize into the real world? What impact will she make on the  real world?
  Joseph Kosinski: Quorra was reconstructed from the Carbon and Water stored in  the Shiva laser from Flynn's teleportation. If you look closely, you'll see the  various canisters arranged around its base.

CBB: Daft Punk created an amazing  score, but were you concerned that the score would become such a character in  itself that it would distract the audience away from the story?
  Joseph Kosinski: No, but I was very pleased to see that the soundtrack is one  of the bestselling in years.

CBB: In your opinion, which was the  most difficult effect to make/ pull off for this movie and why?
  Joseph Kosinski: I wanted to make it so that the audience had no idea what was  real and what was virtual. I've always been interested in blurring the lines  between the two.

CBB: Which was the hardest shot? How many  times did you have to shoot it?
  Joseph Kosinski: The shot of Sam rising in the Recognizer, it required many,  many meetings to figure out how to do it.

CBB: After you read the Tron: Legacy  reviews - did you find the criticism in reviews is useful for you as young  director?
  Joseph Kosinski: Absolutely.

CBB: With 3D booming and only getting  better, how do you think Tron Legacy translate to home 3D with the 3D Blu-ray?
  Joseph Kosinski: I was impressed with the Blu-ray 3D. It holds up well even on  a smaller screen.

CBB: Joe, any final thoughts on Tron  Legacy?
  Joseph Kosinski: Thanks for all of the great questions, hope you enjoy the  Blu-Ray!

Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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