Tron 3 Is Bringing Back Jeff Bridges, But is Still Missing its Title Character

Whenever Tron isn’t on the grid, everyone should be asking “Where’s Tron”?

Flynn and Tron in 'Tron.'

When TRON: Ares returns to the grid in 2025, at least one familiar face will reappear: the man who partially started it all, Jeff Bridges. In a recent interview with The Film Comment podcast, Bridges confirmed he’s returning to the third TRON film. Kevin Flynn — or Clu — is somehow alive, or perhaps will appear in a flashback.

Either way, this is a positive development for longtime fans, as it means the third film will bring back one of its most integral characters. And yet TRON 3 has yet to confirm the most important character for continuing the franchise’s canon, which would be the title character himself.

Jeff Bridges played a key role in 2010’s TRON: Legacy, but Bruce Boxleitner was largely absent.


Bridges told Film Comment, “I’m heading this Saturday to play a part in the third installment of the TRON story. I’m excited about that.” But based on the ending of TRON: Legacy, it’s unclear exactly how he’ll appear, and what that “part” might be. Because the human Kevin Flynn seemingly met his end, it seems most likely Bridges will appear as another version of the program known as Clu, Flynn’s digital double, who became the megalomaniacal villain of the second film.

Will Bridges appear as Flynn in a flashback? As Clu in a different flashback? As a new Clu? Or as another character entirely? We don’t know yet, but somehow, the world of Jared Leto’s Ares will connect to the original 1982 movie.

A flashback in TRON: Legacy showed Flynn and Tron working together. It’s unclear if TRON: Ares will bring back Tron himself.


Although Jeff Bridges is the biggest name associated with 1982’s TRON, he didn’t play the title character. Instead, Bruce Boxleitner played dual roles as Alan Bradley and TRON, a security program created by Bradley. In TRON: Legacy, Boxleitner returned as Bradley but was secretly also Rinzler, who had been Tron before becoming an evil, corrupted henchman of Clu.

In other words, “TRON” doesn’t refer to the digital world these characters inhabit, but a sentient AI. Tron, as played by Boxleitner, is barely in TRON: Legacy, save for one flashback in which we see Tron help Flynn and Clu establish the new digital world in which most of the movie takes place.

So will TRON: Ares actually incorporate Tron into its story? Hopefully the answer is yes, because if Jeff Bridges is back, then Bruce Boxleitner should be back too. TRON 3 has a lot of messy continuity to sort out, and to do so the movie could use all the nostalgic (and canonical) help it can get. If Boxleitner doesn’t return outright, then this sequel will need to either recast Tron or explain why he’s missing from his own movie.

TRON: Ares hits theaters on October 10, 2025.

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