For years, Disney has been trying their best to make Tron into one of their major franchises. 28 years after the original Tron came out in 1982, Disney followed the techno-adventure film with 2010’s Tron: Legacy. The film made $172 million domestically, yet that was against a $170 million budget. Yet the connective tissue of these two films was computer programmer Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges in both Tron films. With a third Tron on the way, a new rumor suggests Bridges might also be returning to the franchise.
We Got This Covered is reporting the rumor from gossip writer Daniel Richtman, who says that Jeff Bridges would star alongside Jared Leto for Tron: Ares, the third film in the Tron series. Considering how central Flynn has been to the Tron films so far, it would almost be strange if a new film didn’t feature the return of the character. Yet Richtman doesn’t state what his evidence is for this rumor, nor where this rumor is coming from.
However, the biggest evidence against this rumor is that not even two months ago, Jeff Bridges announced that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma. Currently, Bridges has no upcoming projects in the works, which makes complete sense considering he needs to focus on getting better, rather than consider his next films. While we’d all love to see Bridges in another film in the near future, calling for the return of Flynn seems extremely premature.
In actuality, it seems far more like Tron: Ares will have to move forward without the involvement of Jeff Bridges. While Bridges is currently fighting lymphoma, Tron: Ares looks to be going full steam ahead. Just a few months ago, Jared Leto posted a photo to his Instagram with the caption “Starting the Tron workout.” Back in August, it was announced that Garth Davis, who directed 2016’s Oscar-nominated Lion, and 2018’s Mary Magdalene would be directing the third Tron film. While initially a sequel to Tron: Legacy was planning to film soon after that film was released in 2010, plans for that film fell through. Yet it looks as though production on the third Tron film is heating up.
Disney also loves their synergy, and with Tron Lightcycle Power Run coming to Disney World, it seems extremely likely Disney would want this third Tron film to come out in time to coincide with the new ride. Otherwise, Disney could theoretically halt any production until they could make sure Jeff Bridges could be involved with the next film, but with Tron Lightcycle Power Run scheduled to be debuting at Disney World by early 2023 at the latest, there’s seemingly a ticking clock for the next Tron film.
In Tron: Legacy, Disney did create a younger version of Jeff Bridges, which might be the only way we could actually see Bridges in a new Tron film at the moment. While of course it would be great to see Jeff Bridges return to the Tron movies, especially considering how integral he has been to the franchise so far, it looks like the actor is rightfully focusing on his health for the time being.