March 23, 2017

Dangerously awesome swag offers clues about ‘Tron: Legacy’

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BY TODD GILCHRIST

Following the successful screening in 2008 of test footage for a potential Tron sequel, Walt Disney Studios slowly but effectively launched a campaign to promote Tron: Legacy, a follow-up some 28 years in the making. Initially this involved short clips and images – typical promotional material – shown at places like San Diego Comic-Con; but after a retro arcade at Comic-Con elicited huge reactions from fans and newcomers to the film series, the studio has dexterously engineered a viral campaign that offers Tron acolytes with snippets of information and images about the film, and moreover, made them a part of uncovering each clue as the film’s December 17, 2010 release date.

Last week, mysterious boxes from “Flynn Lives” arrived on doorsteps worldwide containing not only plastic figurines that evoke the original Tron, but a succinct clue that has now inspired a desperate search for answers which many hope will unlock new, exclusive footage, possibly including a theatrical trailer. Hollywood News received one of these boxes, and has closely followed the efforts of fellow Tron fans as they visit the Flynn Lives website to try and uncover its secrets.

As of 10:15 AM PST, fans from a number of cities, including Paris, Madrid, and New York City, already cracked the site’s binary code (a throwback to the 1982 original’s now-primitive technology), located an operative who is apparently wearing a “Flynn Lives” t-shirt, and provided them with a code word or phrase that unlocked a portion of an image. Additionally, reports coming in from locations like Austin indicate that fans who journey to specific locations receive other Tron-related merchandise, including wallets that come with additional cards, and of course, additional codes.

What’s most amazing about this process is the fact that so many have become involved; while it was more than ten years ago that The Blair Witch Project went from an internet sensation to a theatrical blockbuster, viral campaigns both physical and online have met with mixed success, and thus far this one seems to be finding a remarkable following. Ironically, prior to the Comic-Con screening of the test footage, rumor has it that Disney was unsure if audiences would be interested in a return to the world of Tron.

For more information, and to see the first snippets of a new image from Tron: Legacy, go to flynnlives.com/zerohour.

About Todd Gilchrist

Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based film critic and entertainment journalist. Over the past decade he worked at a variety of online and print publications, including the Miami New Times, Filmstew.com, SCI FI Wire, and IGN.com, where he wrote reviews, conducted interviews with actors and filmmakers, and edited Movies, DVD and Music content. He currently works for Cinematical.com among other outlets, and has been a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association since 2005.

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