First: If you don't want to know anything about the details surrounding the cameo appearance in "Tron: Legacy" stop reading this post now. Seriously.
Well, the first reviews are beginning arrive for Disney's big franchise reboot gamble, and they aren't good. The general consensus is that the film is visual wonder but little else, and with the studio spending $320 million on the film and with an animated show and countless merchandising tie-ins associated with the picture, they are definitely hoping that the tide changes in the next couple of weeks before the film hits theaters. Yet, for all of Disney's marketing push -- which include weekly updates on "Tron Tuesday" (think of it as a much geekier version of Kanye West's "Good Fridays") -- one thing they've kept just as secretive as Daft Punk's closely guarded true identities is a pretty intriguing cameo that possibly sets up the villain for a potential "Tron 2."
In the midst of a lengthy, 5000 plus word review of the film, HitFix drops an interesting little nugget regarding a sequence that emerges in the film's first act with an appearance by an actor that is hard to ignore. Here's what Drew McWeeny had to say:
There's an ENCOM board meeting that Sam Flynn interrupts with an Internet prank, and during that meeting, there's a casual introduction to the son of Dillinger, David Warner's character in the first movie. When they cut to Dillinger 2.0, or whatever his name is, it's Cillian Murphy. I was shocked since I haven't seen his name attached to any publicity for the film, and I thought, "Oh, wow, they managed to keep the film's villain so completely under wraps that I didn't even know he was in the film!" Nope. Those three or four lines of dialogue represent the sum total of Murphy's work in the film. There's no further reference to him, no effort to incorporate him into the story… nothing. He's just introduced and then abandoned, and it feels like this big giant obvious blinking red light. "WE ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS INTO A FRANCHISE AND THIS IS THE BAD GUY NEXT TIME AND WE JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW AND ISN'T THAT COOL?"
Obviously, as Cillian Murphy proved with the Christopher Nolan Batman films, he can play a compelling baddie but clearly, his screen time is limited here to mostly a chess move for the potential next film. We're not quite sure why HitFix finds this setup so egregious since it's a gambit employed in pretty much every half-baked comic movie and tentpole franchise that hits every year. In fact, the Marvel film universe seems to employ that very method as a standard operating procedure for introducing characters.
Update: HeyUGuys spoke with the film's Production Executive Brigham Taylor who confirmed that Murphy's character, "....fits into the mythology of Tron. He’s connected to one of the characters from the past and we’re really exited to have him involved.” He added, "We were talking to him about other things and it had come up so he knew we were out there doing our thing so when the opportunity arose it was a mutual admiration, so it worked really well. If we tells more stories he’s the guy that could be involved.”
Anyway, it's an interesting little tidbit and something to look for among the 3D wonders of Joseph Kosinski's film. "Tron: Legacy" opens on December 17th.