Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn in Tron: Legacy

‘Tron: Ares’ Cast Expands With Gillian Anderson as Production Begins

After over a decade of uncertainty and fears of cancellation, Tron: Ares‘ production is finally in motion. Meanwhile, it is still making progress on casting, having recently added Gillian Anderson to its line-up.

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The Tron franchise first kicked off back in 1982 with the release of Disney’s Tron. The film follows Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a game developer who gets sucked into the digital world. He employs the help of a security program, Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), to escape the software and expose his colleague Ed Dillinger (David Warner) as a thief. Upon its release, Tron was a moderate success. However, it didn’t receive quite as much hype and box office earnings as Disney had hoped, and for many years, the studio had no plans to continue the franchise. Then, Tron started gaining traction: The film gained a cult following, with many fans hailing it as a groundbreaking film in terms of its sci-fi storyline and cutting-edge animation. Hence, a sequel, Tron: Legacy, was released in 2010.

Almost immediately after Tron: Legacy‘s release, reports arose that a third film was in development. The film was initially supposed to see the return of Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, alongside director Joseph Kosinski and screenwriters Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Fans were disappointed when reports arose that the sequel had been canceled. However, the film wasn’t canceled for good as it went on to find a new director, writer, and leading man. As early as 2017, Jared Leto was attached to Tron 3, and by 2020, the film received an official title: Tron: Ares. Still, an official confirmation remained oddly elusive for many years, and updates were few and far between.

Finally, by 2023, Tron: Ares had settled on a director and cast, paving the way for production to begin. Fortunately, things started coming together quickly after the movie was officially confirmed.

Tron: Ares continues expanding its cast

Jared Leto on a red carpet.
(Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic)

Leto was the only star rumored to be attached to Tron: Ares for several years. By early 2023, it was officially confirmed he had been cast as the film’s titular star. Meanwhile, by June 2023, the majority of his castmates were revealed, though their roles remain undisclosed. Evan Peters, best known for starring in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and Kick-Ass, was the first additional star to join the film. Past Lives‘ Greta Lee and Anne Boleyn‘s Jodie Turner-Smith followed close on his heels. A month later, Gotham star Cameron Monaghan and The Night Agent star Sarah Desjardins also joined the cast.

However, the cast may still be expanding as it was announced this year that X-FilesGillian Anderson had also joined Tron: Ares in an undisclosed role. The movie only just commenced filming after being delayed by the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. So, there may still be room for further cast updates. Fans also remain curious if Hedlund or Wilde will return, given that they initially expressed interest in reprising their roles.

One of the reasons why Tron: Ares‘ production was able to move forward, was that the film finally found its director and writers. Joachim Rønning has over as director. Rønning is a Norwegian filmmaker who has collaborated with Disney in the past, directing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Meanwhile, Jesse Wigutow, known for The Prince and the long-developing and highly cursed reboot of The Crow, and His Dark Materials writer Jacke Thorne have been tapped to write the film’s screenplay.

What is Tron: Ares about?

Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund in Tron (2010)
(Disney)

So far, plot details for Tron: Ares have not yet been released. However, we do know that it’s a sequel to Tron: Legacy, so it may further explore some ideas from that film. In particular, it could examine computer programs becoming human and transitioning to the real world. This was a plot point in Tron: Legacy, in which Quorra (Wilde), an isomorphic algorithm, manages to escape the Grid and live as a human with Sam (Hedlund). In Quorra’s case, the outcome was touching—she got to live as a human and witness her first sunrise with Sam. However, it is easy to see how the ability of computer programs to cross over into the real world could become dangerous.

Another major plot point in Tron: Legacy was Sam’s decision to take over his father’s business, ENCOM. The sequel could also explore what the company has been developing under Sam’s guidance. Given that many years have passed, Tron: Ares could probably dredge up some interesting new developments; perhaps even a whole new virtual reality has come to life after Sam deactivated the Grid.

The only other hint we have of Tron: Ares‘ plot is its title. Fans of Greek mythology will know that Ares is the name of the Greek god of war. Perhaps the name signifies a war-like conflict between the real and virtual world.

(featured image: Disney)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.