Disney's $200 million big-budget reboot has a lot riding on it -- OK, mostly a lot of money -- but it's also the first outing for former commercial director Joseph Kosinski. And with the tentpole film set to land in theaters in a couple of the weeks, the director is beginning to hit the interview circuit and in a recent chat with Vulture, he is astonishingly forthright about how successful (or not) the aging down/CGI Botox on Jeff Bridges is in the forthcoming film.
It didn't take much to get Kosinski going -- the interviewer admits that for him, Bridges The Younger looked a little dodgy, particularly his mouth, and the director responded by saying, "Yeah. I feel like...um, honestly I feel like Clu, I don't think he's at 100 percent in 100 percent of the shots. But I feel like there's a couple glimpses in there, especially during Clu's speech in the Rectifier, [that] I'm really happy with. For a moment, you buy this thing as a real character, which to me is exciting. I just don't think that's been done before."
While the honesty is very refreshing, we can only imagine that Disney PR is scrambling to reassure fans that both the director and studio are happy with the final result. And it certainly makes us a little fearful that for Kosinski, there only appear to be a "couple glimpses" that he's "really happy with" and where the CGI feels like a "real character." In short, we hope the film isn't just a bunch of actors against some fancy-pants, cutting-edge digital effects and little else. Of course, we'll have to wait until we see it for ourselves, and again, we're sure some clarifying statements on are on the way, but Jeff Bridges' face isn't the only issue potentially facing the film.
Tracking on the film -- which is just a fancy way of gauging if people are interested -- is apparently lower than expected for the film, with opening estimates being set at around $35 million. Not great for a $200 million film. And while Disney is likely concerned, they also realize that tracking reports are a total crapshoot. "Tangled" was supposed to open soft as well and ended up taking in a much higher than expected $69 million in its first five days to become the second-largest 3-day and 5-day opener for the studio ever, only behind "Toy Story 2." However, unlike "Tangled" -- a big family film that opened on a holiday weekend -- "Tron: Legacy" is a geek movie that Disney hopes will reach a broader audience. Whether it becomes the "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" of this winter or not remains to be seen.
So will "Tron: Legacy" be a chilly digital effects show or something like the great sci-fi epic we're hoping for? Guess it will depend on Jeff Bridges' face. The film opens in 3D on December 17th.