29 March 2010 1146 Views

The Tron Sequel Soundtrack That Never Was

by Dan Koelsch

Did you know Tron Legacy is not Disney’s first attempt at a Tron sequel? Given the cult following of the original and the advancements in computer generated effects, there was some speculation in 1999 that Disney was working on a sequel with Pixar. Now someone has claimed they were hired to write a soundtrack for the would-be Tron 2. Could this be real? Find out after the break.

In the summer of 1999, rumors surfaced about a Tron sequel, thanks in part to an anonymous source who talked to ZDNet. If it was true, the movie was only in the early stages, but Pixar was apparently going to be the studio behind it, which makes sense. The computer animation studio had produced the first full length movie to be completely computer generated with Toy Story in 1995. Also, Toy Story director John Lasseter claimed that Tron was a big inspiration for him in making his film. However, nothing ever came of this rumor, as either the production fell apart, or it was never real to begin with.


So, was a soundtrack actually commissioned for the unmade film? Well, the evidence we have is that of the person making the claim himself. On his website, he actually provides the entire soundtrack for download and listening, calling the collection “Tron 1.5: Rise of the Virals”. Here’s his story:

In late 1998, I was commissioned to compile and produce the soundtrack for a sequel to the film “Tron”. A draft of the story had already been written and early filming had begun (as reported by ZDNet on July 27, 1999). As I understand it, the film was kept in great confidence with the producers as Pixar was still in negotiations with Disney about the responsibilities of the production teams.

“Rise Of The Virals” was a fantastic, but much darker storyline from the original — different from the “Into The Machine” pitch made to Disney by another party. It involved updating the ENCOM universe to a networked system (thanks to the Internet), but also created a darker world — full of programs abandoned as buggy systems (or “mutants”) and abused by corrupt users as viral systems. Furthermore, the story included the death of Flynn and presented questions about the digital life of programs lasting beyond the mortality of their creators — the users.

My task was to compile great underground artists to create a new soundtrack for this darker world of Tron. After the completion of the initial tracklist and first production draft of the soundtrack, it seemed as if negotiations between Pixar and Disney had broken down. Funding for the project was eventually pulled.

I have been most excited to see the announcement of the third film, the new “TR2N” (Tron: Legacy), especially with the involvement of those who will be creating the new soundtrack. It is obvious to me that “Tron: Legacy” takes place after “The Rise Of The Virals” without abandoning its first concept. Perhaps that is why we’ve seen sites like Flynn Lives creep up in anticipation of the new film.

I’ve decided to release the preliminary version of the soundtrack which includes a special remix of Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” produced specifically for “Rise Of The Virals”. Journey provided two songs to the original “Tron”, and their song “Separate Ways” will reportedly be on the “Legacy” soundtrack as well. In any case, since the story of “Rise Of The Virals” takes place between the first “Tron” film and the upcoming “Tron 2: Legacy”, I can’t think of a better title for this material other than “Tron 1.5”. I hope you enjoy the music these artists have put such great work into.

— Flynn 1.5






Above is the cover created for the album. As I mentioned before, there is nothing to substantiate this claim, and it’s unlikely an actual soundtrack would have been developed before any real production was done. I would just take it as a great fan creation and enjoy it that way. It’s definitely a good listen.


The real Tron sequel opens December 17th.



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