Disney Pictures have announced that their videogame-movie sequel Tron Legacy
is to open on 17 December 2010, the same day that Sony intend to unleash Seth Rogen-starrer The Green Hornet
. Both pictures have been long-gestating, with the original Tron
released way back in 1982, and serious efforts to breathe fresh cinematic life into the 30s-created Hornet having been made by various film-makers since the mid-1990s. Tron Legacy
is set to offer a narrative continuation from its forebear while also passing the baton to a new generation of characters, as bright young things Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde take centre stage. Hedlund has been handed the role of Sam Flynn, son of Jeff Bridgesí Sean, and the plot apparently sees him delving into the mainframe realm of light bikes and cyber-suits as he investigates the twenty-five year old mystery of his dadís disappearance. Bruce Boxleitner also returns from the original cast, while the ever-busy Michael Sheen is on villainous duties. Direction is by first-timer Joseph Kosinski, Daft Punk are scoring, and if you want another peek at the teaser footage that surfaced around the time of Comic-Con then simply lower your orbs about two inches and hit play on the link.
Meanwhile, The Green Hornet
has endured a meandering route to the silver screen, with the long-standing attachment to the project of Clerks
director Kevin Smith failing to sire a completed film. Smithís preferred choice for newspaper man Britt Reid/the eponymous crime-buster was Jake Gyllenhaal, but Seth Rogen became attached to star in the project in the wake of his success in Knocked Up
. With Rogen also engaged to pen the screenplay in collaboration with his Superbad
and Pineapple Express
co-writer Evan Goldberg, it appeared that megaphone duties would be the preserve of Kung Fu Hustle
and Shaolin Soccer
creator Stephen Chow, who was also ready to play the Hornetís faithful sidekick Kato. However, the Hong Kong superstar has since dropped out of the project, with Eternal Sunshine
film-maker Michel Gondry manfully stepping into the directorial breach.
and The Green Hornet
strike me as slightly flawed properties - yet ones which possess potential. The original Tron
movie boasted terrific imagery, but without a suitably compelling script to wed it to. So the primary task of the sequel will undoubtedly be to tease an engrossing narrative out of the raw building blocks provided by the characters and art design. Similarly, The Green Hornet
balances the excitement at director Gondryís involvement in a superhero flick against the slightly underwhelming nature of the source character.
There seems to be greater anticipation surrounding Tron Legacy
at present, but no-one has actually seen any GH
footage yet. So if Gondry can produce a few suitably dazzling reels to whet audience appetites then there will still be all to play for on 17 December 2010. But there is supposedly one precautionary measure already being taken ahead of the Tron/Hornet face-off, with The Smurfs
set to be shifted to a release date in 2011. Because no-one wants to see any Smurf collateral damage from this box-office showdown. Thatíd just be a Smurf-tastrophe.
Sources: Dark Horizons
, Total Film