Last summer, a teaser trailer for Tron 2, spelled "TR2N," was shown at the San Diego Comic-Con. Shaky footage leaked onto the Web, showing an older, bearded Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) watching a deadly lightcycle race from his monklike home inside a mountain in cyberspace. (A fictional Website searching for the missing Flynn may be closer to his location than it realizes.) At this year's SDCC, an expanded version of that same clip was shown, and this time, the title was revealed as Tron Legacy. While the footage is certainly impressive, thanks to famed commercial director Joseph Kosinski, the new title, Tron Legacy, is not.
Call me crazy, but I liked TR2N. Granted, it's tough to pronounce on a marquee, and it's probably not going to show up next to Tron in an alphabetical index, and the "2" leads audiences to believe that they need to watch a 27-year-old movie before they can watch this one, but I have a love-hate relationship with numbers in movie titles, and this one I love. The film's basis in computer codes makes the number-letter combination work in a way that Se7en and Jon and Kate Plus Ei8ht don't, especially in this age of password number substitutions. (See also: Numb3rs.) Tron Legacy sounds like the filmmakers want this movie to get a free pass into whatever fraternity of awesome movies the original Tron is in. (Aren't legacies asked to pledge automatically?) When I think of legacies, I think of ivy-covered walls, built by people long ago who wanted to leave something behind that would last for a very, very long time, until it was covered with a thick layer of dust. Not exactly how I imagine cyberspace, where the new replaces the old rapidly, and definitely not what I think of when I imagine what the 24 new tracks Daft Punk has created for the film's soundtrack will sound like. "This legacy makes me want to dance!"
If there had been eight Tron movies, the word "legacy" might make sense, but there was only one, and then a whole lot of nothing. It didn't last, even if love for the original film did. It sounds like the plot involves Flynn's legacy, in the form of his son, but I still resent the automatic assumption that a "2" in a movie is an undesirable thing (Iron Man 2, anyone?), and that lengthy subtitles have taken their place. A number "2" would have significantly shortened Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Night at the Museum: The Battle of the Smithsonian, and I still don't understand why G.I. Joe was pre-emptively saddled with the addendum The Rise of Cobra. (Although, if the box office for Revenge of the Fallen is any indication, they made the right choice.)
I suppose we should thank their lucky stars they already used Tron 2.0 for a video game title in 2007, when it was only very outdated, as opposed to now, when it would be extremely outdated. Maybe they could have used it in a sentence, like 2 Fast 2 Furious, or Step Up 2 the Streets? It's not too late to change Tron Legacy to Born 2 Tron or 2 Tron 2 B 4Gotten.