In 1982, Bruce Boxleitner starred as Tron/Alan Bradley in the cult classic TRON, and almost 30 years later, in 2010, reprised the characters in TRON: Legacy. Now he’s delving into television animation with TRON: Uprising, voicing the role of Tron once again.
The series is set in the mythology of the TRON universe, and takes place inside the computer world of The Grid. The story unfolds in Argon City, in the far off corner of The Grid that has just been occupied by General Tesler (voiced by Lance Henriksen), a power hungry dictator, who is a henchman of the notorious Clu.
When Tron, the legendary protector of The Grid, becomes aware of a young teen named Beck (voiced by Elijah Wood), who mounts a resistance again the regime, he recruits him as his apprentice.
Because a whole new audience will be seeing this, how would you describe Tron to them?
I’d say Tron’s a mythic warrior, a hero of the videogame world. Even back in 1980, I likened him to Spartacus, who led the slave rebellion of the gladiators, and that is basically what we were to the master control programs.
He’s grown, beaten up and battle-worn in this one, he’s not the young spry guy he used to be, like the actor portraying him! At 62 I’m a very different version of Tron now, more seasoned.
How long have you been working on the animated series?
We’ve been at this for about a year now, I think. It’s certainly exciting for this show to have Elijah Wood. I think the two of us are a nice mix, because that’s mainly who I work with. Lance is an old friend.
I’m still there, but this whole new cast has come in and it’s great to have these new energies and these new people in there.
Was it difficult coming up with the voice of Tron?
It’s certainly different doing an animated series, because you don’t have your whole mechanism to create the character. You have to bring a voice to it, and trying to find Tron’s voice was the journey that I, with Charlie Bean, our director, went on.
As unrelenting as you’ll see that Tron is with Beck, Charlie was with me. So I was Beck and he was Tron. He’s a harsh taskmaster. I had to give him a lot and he would keep pushing me and get me angrier and angrier to get that ravaged voice.
Not so much in the beginning, but you will see as we go on, because Beck and Tron’s relationship is not an easy one. I’m not as nice as Obi-Wan! I literally kick Beck’s butt a lot. We get into it, and he fights me every bit of the way.