TR2N (Tron 2) might be doomed to failure, but we still want the test footage

Disney’s Tron is like the Dorian Gray of science fiction: it just never seems to get any older. It’s beautiful, neon-lit vector graphics have left a long legacy on contemporary design (Motorola’s RAZR / the architecture of Liverpool Steet’s Broadgate / even the fashion for Nu-Rave). It also imagined what virtual reality might look like, a full two years before William Gibson’s Neuromancer

Next year sees the release of Tron 2, with Jeff Bridges reprising his lead role. Last week test footage of the sequel was screened at Comic Con in San Diego and leaked onto the web by someone in the audience. It’s amazing how, even though the footage is both blurred and unsteady (its apparently taken on a mobile phone) I feel compelled to watch it.

As William Wiles has pointed out in Icon Magazine, the sequel’s failure is probably inevitable. As hew says, “no remake could match the enormous and lasting importance and influence of the original.

“Tron was a technological milestone and a cultural breakthrough that cannot be replicated.”