Home Entertainment Jeff Bridges Returning for ‘Tron: Ares,’ Says De-Aged Character in ‘Tron: Legacy’...

Jeff Bridges Returning for ‘Tron: Ares,’ Says De-Aged Character in ‘Tron: Legacy’ Looked ‘More Like Bill Maher Than Myself’

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Jeff Bridges is going back to the grid.

The 74-year-old actor told the Film Comment podcast (via The Playlist) that he is going to appear in “Tron: Ares,” the third film in the long-running sci-fi franchise that Bridges inaugurated with “Tron” in 1982 and reprised with “Tron: Legacy” in 2010. The new film stars Jared Leto as the titular character Ares, with Joachim Rønning (“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”) directing from a script by Jesse Wigutow and Jack Thorne.

“I’m heading off this Saturday to play a part in the third installment of the ‘Tron’ story,” Bridges said. “Jared Leto is the star of this third one. I’m really anxious to work with him. I’ve admired his work.” (When reached by Variety, a rep for Bridges said the actor taped the podcast “a while ago” and had already concluded his work on “Tron: Ares.”)

“Tron” is best known for pioneering the use of computer generated imagery, which was used to create the digital world of a video game after Bridges’ character, Kevin Flynn, is zapped inside one. In the sequel, Flynn is trapped inside a much more sophisticated version of the game by his digital double, Clu, who was also played by Bridges and digitally de-aged using CGI.

©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

“I didn’t like the way I looked in it,” Bridges said. “I felt like I looked more like Bill Maher than myself. It was kind of bizarre.”

Bridges added that he’d heard that “there’s going to be even less AI stuff” in “Tron: Ares” and that the production is using more “practical sets” for the new project. “There are beautiful sets that I’ve seen,” he said. “So we’ll see.”

The actor provided no further details about his character in “Tron: Ares,” and there’s no guarantee it will be Kevin Flynn. At the end of “Tron: Legacy,” Flynn re-absorbs Clu and erases both of them from the virtual world, allowing Flynn’s son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), and Quorra (Olivia Wilde), a sentient digital human, to escape back into the real world.

Hedlund and Wilde, however, aren’t slated to join “Tron: Ares,” which instead will focus on Leto’s character, another digital program who crosses into the human world. The film costars Evan Peters, Greta Lee, Gillian Anderson, Jodie Turner-Smith, Hasan Minhaj, Arturo Castro, Cameron Monaghan and Sarah Desjardins.

Leto first signed on to star and produce the project back in 2017, but it really booted up in January 2023 when Rønning signed on to direct. Justin Springer, Jeffrey Silver and Emma Ludbrook are also producing.

Ethan Shanfeld contributed to this story.