Why Tron 3 may be the First Major Hollywood VR Film

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tron
Artur Balytskyi | Shutterstock.com

With movies trending toward IMAX and 3D experiences, a VR film can’t be far behind. Could Tron 3 be the first major Hollywood film in VR?

Think about some of the top grossing films of the last 12 months.

Doctor Strange. Kong. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Lego Batman. All of these films have shots that don’t come alive except with the use of 3D.

Despite news that a third film has been “put on ice”, one star from the rebooted Tron franchise spoke out about going beyond 3D and discussed the various possibilities of the next Hollywood blockbuster in the series.

image of movie Tron that Jeff Bridges wants to see in VR in next Hollywood film
Tron | Disney
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Listen to Jeff Bridges, Disney & Hollywood Execs

Jeff Bridges, sometimes better known as “The Dude”, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the potential of a virtual reality Tron threequel.

“It should be the first virtual reality movie, you know? Wouldn’t that be cool…to see Tron in that world?” The actor raises important questions in his musings:

image of Jeff Bridges in Tron movie that he wants the next Tron Hollywood movie to be in VR
Tron | Disney
  • Can Disney deliver a Tron sequel with VR technology?
  • Can Disney deliver a Tron sequel at all?
  • Is Jeff Bridges right out VR Tron?
  • Are movie audiences ready for a full-length feature film utilizing VR tech?
  • Is virtual reality technology where it needs to be for Hollywood to make VR films?

While Edgy Labs can’t really address those first two questions (sorry Tron fans), we can definitely address that final two. Also, we’re with you Jeff Bridges — it would be 10,000% cool to see Tron in full VR.

Making VR an Everyday Thing

VR Film projects, like Douglas Thrumball’s Magi have been in the works for almost a year now, and every year seems to be “The Year of VR.” A major film like the next Tron installment could be the push that helps make VR mainstream. 

Costs are dropping and alternatives to more expensive at-home VR headsets are becoming available.

Better content, including games like Sony’s Farpoint, is on the market and some industries are starting to use VR for on the job training.

YouTube 360 exists. WebVR is a thing. So what’s holding us back from making full-length feature films in virtual reality?

So what’s holding us back from making full-length feature films in virtual reality?

The main issue with making a 1.5 – 2-hour long film in VR could be audience retention.

There’s also the infrastructure problem of overhauling theaters to include headsets and possibly even haptic chairs.

Still, it opens interesting narrative options in terms of audience perspective. The short film Miyubi exemplifies this very well. 

Among the top studios producing VR content, Felix and Paul Studios stands out. Their 40-minute long film Miyubi has you seeing through the eyes of a robot given as a gift to a young boy. 

image of man wearing VR headset for potential Tron 3 Hollywood film

While it does use 3D and full 360-degree camera work, it’s not technically VR.

Even if audiences are comfortable in headsets for the duration of the film, the technology for widespread, full-length feature VR implementation in film just isn’t there yet. Despite this, reviewers remain confident that VR is the future of Hollywood.

But Really Though: Virtual Reality Tron 

image of VR Tron for potential VR Tron 3 Hollywood film
Tron | FMJ Games via LinkedIn

Think about all of the possibilities: immersive racing, a glowing disc whizzing past your face, or Jeff Bridges being nose to nose with you.

Regardless of however far out we may be from widespread virtual reality films, Disney could easily be an early adopter of the trend. Having acquired Marvel and Lucasfilm, the creative powerhouse has the resources to utilize and develop a variety of cutting edge tech suits their various film franchises.

Afterall, Disney has already started developing a haptic chair that lets the viewer feel in VR.

Tron 3 would be incredible, but what other films do you want to see in VR?

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1 COMMENT

  1. I absolutely agree that Tron 3 in VR could be amazing and would be the perfect continuation of the franchise. However, how can VR work in movie theaters? These days (imho) we go to the theater because (1) of the big screen and powerful surround sound and (2) the atmosphere, sharing the event with other people.

    Now if every seat is equipped with VR gear, we will only get the same visual experience that we could get with a VR system at home, and we will be fully immersed in the movie without seeing the other audience members. In fact, hearing their laughs or gasps may break the illusion of immersion and remind us hat we are actually sitting in a theater.

    So will VR technology be successful only for the home, or is there a way to make it work in theaters and draw large audiences?

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