Tron is an American science fiction media franchise. It began in 1982 with the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron. It was followed by various film tie-ins, a comic series and the 2010 sequel Tron: Legacy. More sequels were planned but have now been suspended,[1] and a television series premiered on Disney XD in June 2012.[2]

Created bySteven Lisberger
Original workTron (1982)
Owned byDisney
Print publications
Book(s)See the Literature section
ComicsTron: The Ghost in the Machine (2006–08)
Tron: Betrayal (2010)
Films and television
Film(s)Tron (1982)
Tron: Legacy (2010)
Animated seriesTron: Uprising (2012–13)
Video game(s)Disney Universe (2011)*
See also the Video games section
Soundtrack(s)Tron (1982)
Tron: Legacy (2010)
Tron: Legacy Reconfigured (2011)
* Crossover work where characters and/or settings from this franchise appear.

TRON also existed as the TRON command in the early versions of the computer programming language BASIC. TRON stood for TRace ON, which prompted the program to print or display line numbers for each command line of a program as it ran, in order to assist in the debugging of the program. In the TRON film, TRON became a character who worked in programs to defeat evil elements trying to subvert the program.


Film U.S. release date Director Story by Screenwriter(s) Producer(s) Composer Cinematographer Editor
Tron July 9, 1982 (1982-07-09) Steven Lisberger Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird Steven Lisberger Donald Kushner Wendy Carlos Bruce Logan Jeff Gourson
Tron: Legacy December 17, 2010 (2010-12-17) Joseph Kosinski Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz Sean Bailey, Jeffrey Silver and Steven Lisberger Daft Punk Claudio Miranda James Haygood

Tron (1982)Edit

Tron is a 1982 American action science fiction film by Walt Disney Pictures. It stars Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, Bruce Boxleitner as Tron and his User Alan Bradley, Cindy Morgan as Yori and Dr. Lora Baines, and Dan Shor as Ram. David Warner plays all three main antagonists: the program Sark, his User Ed Dillinger, and the voice of the Master Control Program. It was written and directed by Steven Lisberger. Tron has a distinctive visual style, as it was one of the first films from a major studio to use computer graphics extensively.

Tron: Legacy (2010)Edit

Tron: Legacy[3][4] is a 2010[5] science fiction film. Jeff Bridges returns as Kevin Flynn and also, in a digitally de-aged form, plays the film's antagonist, a new version of his CLU program. Bruce Boxleitner also returns as Alan Bradley and, likewise de-aged, as Tron. They are joined by Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn, Kevin's son, the film's primary protagonist; Olivia Wilde as digital warrior Quorra; Michael Sheen as Castor, owner of a nightclub within the Grid; and Beau Garrett as Gem, a program that works within the digital world. The film deals with Sam investigating the disappearance of his father twenty years earlier, a quest that ultimately leads him into an isolated digital world created by his father after the events of the first film. Original film director Steven Lisberger acted as a producer and consultant on the film, which was written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis and directed by first-time director Joseph Kosinski.

Untitled Tron: Legacy sequel (TBA)Edit

Steven Lisberger stated on October 28, 2010, before the film's release, that a sequel was in planning and that Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, screenwriters for Tron: Legacy, were in the early stages of producing a script for the new film.[6][7] Perry Nemiroff of Cinema Blend speculated that Tron 3 could be the first installment in a new trilogy.[8] On January 13, 2011, Ain't It Cool News reported that the film was close to having its sequel announced as part of Disney's plan for Tron's future.[9] On January 21, 2011, Tron-Sector reported an unsourced rumor that a sequel to Tron: Legacy had been green-lit and a teaser trailer would debut on the DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of Tron and Tron: Legacy.[10] Harry Knowles reported on the teaser, calling it a "DVD Extra" and noting that it had been filmed before Thanksgiving (i.e. before November 2010).[11] On April 8, 2011, director Joseph Kosinski talked about the sequel: "We're working on the story right now. Once we get a script we're all really happy with, we'll take it to the powers that be and see if we can go back to the grid. I think we will pick up with where Tron: Legacy left off with Sam and Quorra in the real world and what does that mean and the possibilities it opens up for the next chapter. It's that relationship between the two of them that's the next step."[12] On March 31, Kosinski said that the film's script was expected to be finished in two weeks and its working title is TR3N.[13]

On June 7, 2011, it was reported that screenwriter David DiGilio (Eight Below) had been hired to draft a script for the sequel to Tron: Legacy. Legacy screenwriters Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis were initially slated to return, but were forced to drop out due to their ongoing work in developing the ABC television series Once Upon a Time. It is currently unspecified whether or not Legacy director Joseph Kosinski will return to direct the sequel.[14] On March 8, 2012, Bruce Boxleitner suggested that a sequel to Tron: Legacy could begin filming as early as 2014, after Kosinski finished his film Oblivion.[15] On June 4, 2012, Horowitz and Kitsis confirmed they were developing a sequel, and the character of Quorra would be returning for the film, as well as a cameo in Tron: Uprising.[16] On December 5, 2012, Jesse Wigutow was hired to rewrite the script for the film.[17] This was later followed by the confirmation that Bruce Boxleitner and Garrett Hedlund would return for the third film.[18]

In September 2013, Kosinski said: "The TRON sequel is still in early stages, it's still in the script stage. So I can't say if and when that would go into production but the fundamental idea of the movie is something I'm very excited about, it delivers on the ideas that we set up in Legacy, especially at the end in the last five minutes, so that one is a work in progress."[19]

On January 15, 2014, Bruce Boxleitner stated in an interview: "All I know is, they don't tell me anything, but they want to do it I would say probably the end of this year, for 2015 maybe," Boxleitner said. "They don't have any dates but I'm thinking from the scuttlebutt I'm hearing that's it, but I don't know anything for sure other than they do have a script they love, they're still tweaking." The film may also take place more in the real world than in the past according to the recent interview: "That's what I'm told, but you didn't hear me say that," Boxleitner joked. "I think it's going to be a lot about taking the company back because if you remember Sam Flynn says to Alan at the end, just before he rides his bike off into the sunrise with Quorra, says, 'We're going to take the company back.' That's not the end of the movie. That's the beginning of the next one. That's foreshadowing. And you don't get Cillian Murphy to do an unscripted cameo" and "I got a feeling Eddie Dillinger Jr.'s going to be as bad as his dad was."[20]

In March 2015, it was revealed that Disney had greenlit the third film with Hedlund reprising his role as Sam and Kosinski returning to direct the sequel. Wilde was revealed in April to be returning as Quorra. Filming was expected to start in Vancouver in October 2015.[21][22][23] However, in May 2015, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Walt Disney Studios had chosen not to continue with a third installment,[24] which was confirmed by Wilde the following month.[25] In the end of July, Boxleitner stated he frequently heard about the pre-production of Tron 3 while shooting Cedar Cove in Vancouver, and was disappointed to hear about the cancellation. While expressing the opinion that Disney decided to "play it safe" and explore other properties, Boxleitner said that this broke his interest in continuing with the franchise, as "it's been too up and down for me. I would rather not just keep going. I don't want to repeat my career anymore."[26] In September 2015, Hedlund stated that he was told that the third Tron film was not "totally dead," but jokingly suggested that it could be released 30 years later, referencing the near 30-year gap between the first film and Legacy.[27] Hedlund would later state the box office disappointment of Tomorrowland right before the third Tron would film led Disney to cancel the project.[28]

In August 2016, former Disney development executive Brigham Taylor told ScreenRant that "there's obviously been conversations," referring to the possibility of a sequel.[29]

During a 2017 Q&A session with Joseph Kosinski, he revealed that Tron 3 has not been scrapped, instead saying it was in "cryogenic freeze."[30] A few days later, it was reported that Jared Leto was attached to portray a new character named Ares in the sequel, titled Tron: Destiny. However Disney has not officially confirmed that the project is in development.[31]

Co-producer Justin Springer further cemented the idea of another Tron film at a press conference leading up to the release of the 2019 remake of Dumbo, saying, "Look, I will never stop being interested in making a TRON movie. I love the opportunity to do it. It’s a title that never really goes away internally. There’s always people around the company who like it a whole lot. And so, we’ll see what happens. It would be great to get the opportunity to do it again. It’s interesting – what I will say is that I think it continues to be relevant both in its ideas and also just the visual iconography of it. I think people are still are interested in it and it still feels contemporary to me. So it’s just about finding the right time, right script, and the right people at the studio saying “yes.” [32]

Television seriesEdit

Tron: UprisingEdit

In March 2010, Disney announced that a TV series, entitled Tron: Uprising, was in production. The premiere aired on June 7, 2012, on Disney XD.[2] The series was cancelled after 19 episodes with the last episode airing on January 28, 2013.

Cast and charactersEdit

Characters Main films Short film Animated series
Tron Tron: Legacy Tron: Destiny Tron: The Next Day Tron: Uprising
1982 2010 TBA 2011 2012–13
Kevin Flynn / Clu Jeff Bridges TBA Jeff Bridges Fred Tatasciore
Alan Bradley / Tron / Rinzler Bruce Boxleitner Bruce Boxleitner
Roy Kleinberg / Ram Dan Shor   Dan Shor  
Ed Dillinger / Sark David Warner   David Warner
(voice; uncredited)
Crom Peter Jurasik  
Dr. Lora Baines / Yori Cindy Morgan  
Dr. Walter Gibbs / Dumont Barnard Hughes  
Sam Flynn   Garrett Hedlund
Owen Best
Garrett Hedlund  
Quorra   Olivia Wilde   Olivia Wilde
Edward "Ed" Dillinger Jr.   Cillian Murphy
(uncredited cameo)
Cillian Murphy  
Castor / Zuse   Michael Sheen  
Disc Jockeys   Daft Punk  
Gem   Beau Garrett  
Jarvis   James Frain  
Richard Mackey   Jeffrey Nordling  
Ares   Jared Leto  


Box office performanceEdit

Film Release date Box office gross Budget Ref(s)
North America Other territories Worldwide
Tron July 9, 1982 $33,000,000 N/A $33,000,000 $17 million [33]
Tron: Legacy December 17, 2010 $172,062,763 $228,000,000 $400,062,763 $170 million [34]
Total $205,062,763 $228,000,000 $433,062,763 $187 million [35]

Critical and public responseEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Tron 72% (57 reviews)[36] 58 (13 reviews)[37]
Tron: Legacy 51% (239 reviews)[38] 49 (40 reviews)[39]

Academy AwardsEdit

Award category
Tron Tron: Legacy
Best Costume Design Nominated
Best Sound Mixing Nominated
Best Sound Editing Nominated
Technical Achievement Won

Video gamesEdit


Since video games play a central role in the film, many video games based on Tron have been produced over the years. Atari, Inc. had plans to develop a real Space Paranoids game, but this was canceled due to the video game crash of 1983, along with arcade adaptations of Superman III and The Last Starfighter. In 1982, Midway Games released the Tron arcade game, which consisted of four mini-games based on sequences in the film. This game earned more than the film's initial release[citation needed]. In 1983, Midway released Discs of Tron,[40] a sequel that focused on disc combat.

Mattel gamesEdit

Mattel Electronics released three separate Tron games (unrelated to the arcade game) for the Intellivision game console in 1982: Tron: Deadly Discs,[41][42] Tron Maze-A-Tron,[43][44][45] and Tron: Solar Sailer.[46][47] Deadly Discs was later ported to the Atari 2600 (along with an original Tron game for that platform, Adventures of Tron[48]), and a version also appeared for the short-lived Aquarius home computer. A special joystick resembling the Tron arcade game joystick was also created as a free giveaway in a special pack that included both Atari 2600 Tron video games.

Tron 2.0Edit

A PC game sequel released for Windows and Macintosh was released on August 26, 2003. In this first person shooter game, the player takes the part of Alan Bradley's son Jet, who is pulled into the computer world to fight a computer virus. A separate version of this game, called Tron 2.0 Killer App, is available for the Xbox, and features new multiplayer modes. An almost completely different game of the same name is also available for the Game Boy Advance, where Tron and a Light Cycle program named Mercury (first seen in Tron 2.0 for the PC) fight their way through the ENCOM computer to stop a virus called The Corruptor. This game includes light cycle, battle tank, and recognizer battle modes, several security-related minigames, and the arcade games Tron and Discs of Tron. While the Game Boy Advance game is only minimally connected to the PC game, one of the 100 unlockable chips shows a picture of Jet Bradley.

Space ParanoidsEdit

In 2009, 42 Entertainment released eight, real-life Space Paranoids arcade machines during the 2009 San Diego Comic Con. They were placed in a recreated Flynn's Arcade near the convention center. The object of the game is to go through the levels and to achieve as many points as possible by destroying Recognizers. The total number of points a person can achieve is 999,000 pts, which is a reference to the score Flynn got in the film, and is a record currently held by the gamer with the initials FLN. You use a pilot-like joystick and a ball to move the turret and tank.

Tron: EvolutionEdit

A tie-in video game based upon Tron: Legacy, titled Tron: Evolution, released in December 2010.[49] Teaser trailers were released in November 2009, with a longer trailer airing during the Spike Video Game Awards on December 12, 2009.[50] Evolution was made at the same time as the film, and features heavy cross-over references, with members of the video game developers stating that some of the facts in film have more depth if the game is played first, as the game reveals more about that scene. It will also allow you to explore further parts of the Tron world.

Tron Evolution: Battle GridsEdit

Unlike Tron: Evolution, made for PS3, PSP, Xbox 360 and PC, Tron Evolution: Battle Grids is made exclusively for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS, and its storyline predates that of the other versions. In this game you create your own program. This program will meet Quorra and Tron before the events of Tron: Legacy and they will train him to be the first ISO to win the Grid Games, but before that can happen you will have to battle and defeat the enemies that kidnapped Quorra and threatened that if you participate in the games she would be Derezzed. The video game is developed by n-Space and published by Disney Interactive Studios.

Tron RUN/rEdit

Announced at the Games Award 2015, and available immediately afterwards in Early Access[51] Tron RUN/r is described as an "Action Arcade" game.[51]

Tron in other Disney propertiesEdit

Epic MickeyEdit

A game based on Disney history, Epic Mickey features several Tron elements in its Tomorrow City level. Spatter enemies wear the red suits of Sark's minions and one of the robotic Beetleworx of the area has a Lightcycle inspired torso. The boss of the level is Petetronic, a version of Pete dressed as Sark, who you must defeat by deflecting his disc attacks and using either thinner or paint to defeat him, paint turning his circuitry blue and friendly, thinner derezzing him, only to appear as an MCP like program in the alternate ending.

Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit

Tron as he appears in Kingdom Hearts II.

Characters from the Tron universe are used in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. In Kingdom Hearts II, "Space Paranoids", a world based on the video game from the original movie, features the characters Tron, Commander Sark, and The Master Control Program (MCP).

In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, "The Grid" another world named after the system from Tron: Legacy, appears in the game, and features the characters Kevin Flynn, Sam, Quorra, CLU, Rinzler, and The Black Guards.[52][53][54]

Virtual Magic KingdomEdit

An online multiplayer game developed by Disney, had a room based on Tron, with Recognizers and the MCP in the background. There were also multiple furniture items in VMK based on Tron, such as Lightcycle Chairs, Tank Chairs, and a Tron Arcade Game Cabinet. It also featured the Red Tron suit (Sark) and Blue Tron Suit. VMK is closed as of May 21, 2008.

Disney UniverseEdit

Features abstract versions of characters from Tron: Legacy as playable characters.

Disney InfinityEdit

Features several Tron-based items including the Identity Disc (weapon pack), Light Runner (ground vehicle), Recognizer (aerial vehicle), and 3 Power Discs (User Control for increased experience, The Grid skydome, and TRON terrain). In the 3.0 edition of the game, Sam Flynn and Quorra were added as playable characters along with the Light Cycle.

Theme parksEdit

From 1982 to 1995, Tron was featured in Disneyland's PeopleMover attraction, as part of The World of Tron, in which the light cycle sequence from the film was projected around park guests as their vehicle passed through a tunnel on the upper level of the Carousel Theater, placing the PeopleMover in the role of a light cycle. The attraction was known as PeopleMover Thru the World of Tron after this sequence was added. From 1977 to 1982, this segment was previously home to the "SuperSpeed Tunnel," in which race cars were projected around the vehicles.

In 2010, the Epcot Monorail on the Walt Disney World Monorail System received wrap advertisements featuring blue and yellow light cycles on either side of the train to promote Tron Legacy.

ElecTRONica was announced on the Disney Parks Blog for Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California. Disney's "ElecTRONica" is an interactive nighttime dance party in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. It is a similar experience to Glow Fest, but with a focus on Tron: Legacy. ElecTRONica features lights, lasers, music, and projections to promote the film. On October 29, 2010, the nighttime show World of Color began soft-openings after its second show for a Tron: Legacy themed encore using Daft Punk's original music from the soundtrack, using new effects and projections on Paradise Pier attractions, The segment was added on November 1, 2010 and ended on March 23, 2011. ElecTRONica ended on April 15, 2012 and replaced by Mad T Party.

In 2016, a roller coaster called TRON Lightcycle Power Run opened in Shanghai Disneyland. Guests board single-seat motorbike roller coasters modeled after light cycles and manufactured by Vekoma. A cloned version of this ride will open at Magic Kingdom before 2021.



A novelization of Tron was released in 1982, written by American science fiction novelist Brian Daley. It included eight pages of color photographs from the movie.[55] Also that year, Disney Senior Staff Publicist Michael Bonifer authored a book entitled The Art of Tron which covered aspects of the pre-production and post-production aspects of Tron.[56][57] To support the film's release in 1982, Disney also published several books targeting children including Tron: A Pop-Up Book, Tron: The Storybook, and The Story of Tron, a book and audio combination (with either 33 RPM 7 inch record or audio cassette).

A nonfiction book about the making of the original film, called The Making of Tron: How Tron Changed Visual Effects and Disney Forever was published in 2011 and written by William Kallay.

In 2010, to coincide with the release of Tron: Legacy, a range of new books have been released; including a range of junior novels – "Tron the Junior Novel" by Alice Alfonsi, "Tron: Legacy: Derezzed" by James Gelsey, "Tron: Legacy: Out of the Dark" by Tennant Redbank, "Tron: Legacy: It's Your Call: Initiate Sequence" by Carla Jablonski. Additional books include "The Art of Tron: Legacy" by Justin Springer, Joseph Kosinski, and Darren Gilford, and "Tron Legacy: The Movie Storybook" by James Ponti.


To support the release of the film in 1982, Disney briefly ran a Sunday comic strip adaptation of the film.

In 2003, 88 MPH solicited a mini-series titled Tron 2.0: Derezzed. This comic was canceled before any issues were released.

In 2005, Slave Labor Graphics announced its six-issue limited series comic, Tron: The Ghost in the Machine. The first issue was released in April 2006, the second issue in November of the same year. The comic book explores the concept of making a backup copy of a User within the computer system, and how that artificial intelligence might be materialized into the real world. The comic book was written by Landry Walker and Eric Jones, with art in the first two issues by Louie De Martinis. The artist on the last three issues is Mike Shoykhet.

The comic from Slave Labor Graphics opens with a detailed history of the Tron universe, providing this previously unseen background on the events that allowed Ed Dillinger and the MCP to rise to power:

In the early 1970s, a small engineering company called ENCOM introduced a revolutionary type of software designed to direct and streamline the transfer of data between networked machines. Ed Dillinger, the lead programmer on this project, realized the enormous potential of his team's creation and secretly encoded a secondary function to be activated upon installation: to copy the sub-routines of other programs and absorb their functions. This alteration allowed Dillinger to appropriate research and claim it as his own, and he rose quickly through ENCOM’s corporate ranks. This was the beginning of the Master Control Program.

Marvel Comics released a two issue mini-series entitled Tron: Betrayal in October 2010. The story takes place a year after the original film.[58] To coincide with the release of the sequel Tron: Legacy, Marvel also released in 2010 a comic adaptation of the original 1982 film. It was written by Peter David with art by Mirco Pierfederici.

A manga version of Tron: Legacy was released by Earth Star Entertainment in Japan on June 30, 2011.

Light cyclesEdit

The redesigned Light cycle as featured in the Comic-Con VFX test footage.

Light cycles were originally fictional vehicles designed by Syd Mead for the simulated world of the Tron universe. 5 real-life replica light cycles were created by Parker Brothers Concepts in Florida, one of which was sold by Sotheby's for a reported $77,000.[59][60]

These futuristic two-wheeled vehicles resemble motorcycles and create walls of colored light. The vehicles were primarily used in a competition between humanoid computer programs, similar to the 1976 arcade game Blockade, which was the first of a genre called Snake. Players are in constant motion on a playfield, creating a wall of light behind them as they move. If players hit a wall, their light cycle explodes, placing them out of the game; the last player in the game wins. Since the original display in Tron, there have been numerous adaptations, as well as references in popular culture.

A light cycle toy, in red and yellow versions, was produced by Tomy as part of the merchandising for the Tron film, along with action figures scaled to fit inside the toy cycles. Bootleg versions of TOMY's design were produced by other toy manufacturers that came in a wide variety of colors, including blue and silver, but were noticeably smaller than the TOMY-produced toy, too small in fact to accommodate one of the TOMY action figures.[61]

Light cycles make a return in Tron: Legacy,[62][63] with new designs by Daniel Simon.[64] According to the press conference at Comic-Con 2009, a new vehicle appears called a "Light Runner," a two-seat version of the light cycle. It is said to be very fast, and has the unique ability to go off the grid on its own power. We also get a glimpse at Kevin Flynn's own cycle, a "Second Generation Light Cycle" designed in 1989 by Flynn and “rumor has it it's still the fastest thing on the grid.” It incorporates some of the look of both films.[65]

The tie-in video game Tron: Evolution, which is set between the events of Tron and Tron: Legacy, features light cycles in sections of the single-player mode and in certain game maps for the multiplayer mode. Light cycle use in multiplayer gives players the option to shift back and forth between cycle and foot travel at will, and provides multiple attack and defensive options beyond the classic "boxing in" of an opponent. In addition, the light cycles of Evolution can pass through their own light trails (and the trails of allied players) unharmed.

A more classic interpretation of the lightcycle game is shown in the Wii-Game Tron: Evolution - Battle Grids, which is primarily based on offline multiplayer or singleplayer matches. These lightcycle battles don't allow the player to pass through his own trail but do allow passage through teammates' trails. There is also no option to travel on foot.

A vehicle within Saints Row: The Third, the X-2 Phantom, is actually based upon a Light Cycle,[original research?] with a slight variation as it bears a Purple theme.

A motorcycle introduced for Grand Theft Auto Online's Bikers update, the Shotaro, heavily resembles a Light Cycle, with its name acting as an allusion to the 1988 film Akira.[original research?]


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