Disney Legend Jeff Bridges Will Return to His Most Iconic Role

in Disney, Movies

Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane in Iron Man

Credit: Marvel Studios

Jeff Bridges will soon return as his most iconic character, and the Walt Disney Company has officially confirmed it.

Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski
Credit: Gramercy Pictures

It is no hyperbole to say that Jeff Bridges is one of our greatest living actors. Over the course of his career, he has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and won one for his portrayal of a grizzled, alcoholic singer in Crazy Heart (2009). But, more than many of his contemporaries, Bridges has always been drawn to odd characters, like Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski in The Big Lebowski (1998) and the guild-ridden shock DJ Jack Lucas in The Fisher King (1991).

Jeff Bridges in Iron Man as the Iron Monger
Credit: Marvel Studios

Plus, let’s not forget that Jeff Bridges is the original Marvel Cinematic Universe Big Bad, playing the villainous Obadiah Stane in the first Iron Man (2008) opposite Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. However, more than any other role, Disney fans will likely always associate him with one movie: Tron (1982).

Jeff Bridges starred in Tron, the futuristic benchmark in CGI-generated visual effects, not as the titular program but as Kevin Flynn, a human programmer trapped in a strange world of digital gladiatorial battles. While the film was only a moderate success for Walt Disney Pictures at the time, it has since gone on to become a cult classic and revered among visual effects circles.

Jeff Bridges and Cindy Morgan in Tron
Credit: Disney

Related: Delayed ‘Tron’ Reboot Finally Reveals First Look

Nostalgia for Tron was significant enough to reboot the series in 2010 with Tron: Legacy, which updated the graphics and starred Jeff Bridges as both an aged Kevin Flynn and the villainous despot program CLU. The film also starred Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, and while it seemed primed to kick off a new series of movies, very little has happened since then.

But now, a third movie titled Tron: Ares is being produced, starring Jared Leto as a digital program that somehow enters the real human world in a reversal of the two previous films’ plots. Disney seemed to be going for a clean break from Legacy, considering Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde are not set to reprise their roles, and the plot seems to describe a new set of characters.

A fighter program in Tron: Legacy
Credit: Disney

However, Jeff Bridges recently revealed on the Film Comment podcast that he was returning as Kevin Flynn for Tron: Ares. The actor said, “I’m heading off this Saturday to play a part in the third installment of the Tron story. Jared Leto is the star of this third one. I’m really anxious to work with him. I’ve admired his work.”

Disney also chimed in to officially confirm that he would be back for another Tron, posting a Twitter image of the actor reading a redacted script for the third movie and the caption “Jeff Bridges returns to the grid. #TronAres.”

This now raises the question of exactly how Jeff Bridges will return in Tron: Ares, considering that he seemed to have died (or possibly transcended) at the climax of Legacy while merging with his digital double CLU. Of course, in a world of digital magic, pretty much anything is possible. But one thing is practically certain: Bridges will not return as a digitally de-aged version of himself.

Related: Disney Is Giving Jared Leto His Own ‘Dune’

In the interview, Bridges commented that he did not like his digitally altered image, even claiming that he felt it looked like someone else entirely. He said, “I didn’t like the way I looked in it. It felt like I looked more like Bill Maher than myself. It was kind of bizarre.”

You be the judge:

Jeff Bridges, digitally de-aged for Tron: Legacy, next to Bill Maher on Real Time.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Tron: Ares is directed by Joachim Rønning from a screenplay by Jesse Wigutow and Jack Thorne. It stars Jared Leto, Greta Lee, Evan Peters, Hasan Minhaj, Jodie Turner-Smith, Arturo Castro, Cameron Monaghan, Gillian Anderson, and Sarah Desjardins and is scheduled to be released in American theaters on October 10.

How do you think Jeff Bridges will return in the third Tron movie? Give us your theories in the comments below!

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