TRON: Ares | Actor Cameron Monaghan praises “amazing” practical sets, also makes us feel old

Cameron Monaghan (pictured) joins the cast of Tron: Ares.
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Cameron Monaghan, one of the stars of the upcoming TRON: Ares, has praised its practical sets and visuals, while also reminding us that TRON: Legacy is 14 years old.

Sci-fi adventure sequel TRON: Ares is currently filming, with Joachim Ronning (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) directing.

Among the starry cast, which also includes Jared Leto and Gillian Anderson, you’ll also find Cameron Monaghan – an actor who looks so much like his character Cal Kestis in the Star Wars Survivor games that seeing photos of him is vaguely jarring. It’s a bit like seeing a videogame protagonist suddenly materialise in the real world – which, funnily enough, is what TRON: Ares is said to be about, with Leto playing Ares, “a fictional character who crosses over from the world of videogames to planet Earth.”

In a new interview with Collider, Monaghan has revealed an intriguing detail about TRON: Ares’ production: it uses practical sets, which he says are “pretty phenomenal.”

Ordinarily, we wouldn’t make much of this, but bear in mind that the TRON series is largely set in a virtual world, which might have suggested that its makers would tackle everything digitally.

“I think [TRON: Ares] is going to really push forward what can be done, from a visual perspective.” Monaghan said. “I would sometimes even come in on days I wasn’t working, because that set was really amazing. A lot of the practical sets were pretty phenomenal, and I would love to go look at those as well.”

Monaghan also highlighted that it’s been a startling 14 years since the last film in the franchise, TRON: Legacy, came out. The actor was 16 when the film premiered, which means he talks about the movie as though it’s some artefact from a bygone era. Which it is, obviously, but just being reminded of the fact makes us feel positively fossilised.

TRON: Legacy I just saw projected in 35MM at the New Beverly last year, and it really holds up, and has that amazing soundtrack by Daft Punk,” Monaghan said. “So I like that those movies have a number of years of separation between them. They don’t come out very often, and every time they do, they show a new era of technology and filmmaking.”

Monaghan highlights a worthwhile point here: the original TRON, directed by Steven Lisberger, came out in 1982. Despite its cutting-edge visuals and trendy zapped-into-a-game subject, it wasn’t a hit. Almost two decades later, Disney tried again with the beautiful-looking TRON: Legacy, directed by Joseph 'Top Gun Maverick’ Kosinski in 2010. It didn’t do terribly ($400m box office on a $170m budget) but its muted financials meant that plans for an immediate sequel were put on hold.

By the time TRON: Ares – said to be a reboot – comes out, there’ll have been a 15 year gap between movies. Judging by previous form, TRON 4 will be with us at some point in 2040.

TRON: Ares is due for release in October 2025. More as we get it.

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