TRON fans eager to return to The Grid in TRON 3 are going to have to be patient, seeing how production on that threequel (still not a certainty) isn’t expected to begin until 2014 at the earliest. In the meantime, you’ll be able to take a trip back to the land of light-cycles and identity discs with the upcoming, 10-episode animated TV series, TRON: Uprising.

Uprising bridges the narrative gap between the original TRON movie and TRON: Legacy. Based on early footage from the show (which looks quite gorgeous), it imitates the aesthetic of the latter film, rather than the 1980s original – or, say, takes a hybrid approach, like that in Daft Punk’s “Derezzed” music video.

The TRON TV spinoff follows Beck (voice of Elijah Wood), an idealistic, young program who leads a revolution against the imperialistic reign of Clu (Fred Tatasciore, reprising his role from the TRON: Evolution video game). Serving as Beck’s mentor is the legendary Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), who helps the would-be revolutionary become a wise and capable player in the struggle to restore freedom to the people (programs?) of The Grid.

Rounding out the voice cast for TRON: Uprising are fan-faves like Paul Reubens and Lance Henricksen (Aliens), along with Mandy Moore, Emmauelle Chriqui, Reginald VelJohnson and Nathan Corddry, among others.

In some ways, Uprising appears to make better use of the spatial layout and three-dimensional structure of The Grid (see: the light-cycle chase teased in the latest preview) than even Legacy – which was even shot specifically in the 3D format. Similarly, the TV series looks to up the action ante a good deal from its theatrical counterparts, while also possibly offering a less-convoluted take on the franchise mythology than either of the first two TRON movies managed.

That’s all to say: Uprising looks like a promising new addition to the TRON universe. If it proves a hit with viewers and fans alike, that should give Disney all the more reason to not allow TRON 3 to fall by the wayside over the next few years.

TRON: Uprising begins airing on Disney XD next month on June 7th, 2012, following the premiere of a half-hour “prelude” titled Tron: Uprising – Beck’s Beginning on the Disney Channel on May 18th.

Source: Entertainment Weekly