Tron: Ares Cast, Director, Plot And More Details

Get ready for another trip to the Grid. After years of kicking the can down the road, it looks like Disney is finally getting ready to deliver a third film in the "Tron" franchise. The first movie became a cult classic after it was released in 1982, but it took until 2010 for a sequel, "Tron: Legacy," to materialize. Plans for a threequel were teased after the release of the second movie, then scrapped due to an overcrowded release calendar and Disney's shifting priorities. But now, it looks like the studio has finally found time for "Tron 3," aka "Tron: Ares."

Who will be directing this third film? Who will star in it? What will its story cover? These questions are only a small sampling of the queries fans have regarding "Tron: Ares." Some answers have yet to materialize, while others are shrouded in murkiness. But one thing is clear: With every passing day, we get closer to seeing a new "Tron" movie hit theaters. There are many more details to discuss, so get yourself uploaded — we're here to zap into everything we know so far about "Tron: Ares."

When will Tron: Ares be released?

"Tron: Ares" has long been the subject of speculation, and many different release windows have been attached to the project. Fans finally received some updates in early 2023 when news broke that actor Jared Leto and director Joachim Rønning were attached to the project, then in the midst of deal-making negotiations. Tentative plans for an August start date were discussed. Then, in March 2023, producer Justin Springer confirmed the movie was in development to and that everyone involved was eager to see it made. "It feels like the right time ... but we have to get it right," he remarked. "We have to get the story and we have to get the team right. And so there's still stuff to do before we have much to say about the movie." 

The 2023 Hollywood strikes delayed things for a good long while. But in November 2023, news emerged that filming on "Tron: Ares" will begin after the holidays. We don't know when "Tron: Ares" will hit theaters, but we do know when it will get rolling.

What is the plot of Tron: Ares?

What will "Tron: Ares" actually be about? Everyone involved has been pretty tight-lipped on this account, but we do know a few basic details. The story will be about artificial intelligence in some capacity. We learned this when director Joachim Rønning offered his comments on the 2023 Hollywood strikes, remarking (via Collider), "Today was supposed to be our first day of principal photography on 'TRON: ARES' (a movie subsequently about AI and what it means, and takes, to be human)." This is both an extremely hot topic — you can't read a newspaper without encounter a piece on A.I., nowadays — and a natural next step for the "Tron" franchise.

Beyond these scant facts, solid details are scarce. Will the story involve any characters we already know and love? At this point, it's unclear. Back in 2015, "Tron: Legacy" stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde were rumored to be returning for the third film. 2015 was a long time ago, of course, and many more rumors have proliferated ever since, but it's still worth considering.

Who is starring in Tron: Ares?

Jared Leto was the first star to become attached to "Tron: Ares." He's playing the titular Ares, a sentient computer program who somehow makes his way into the real world. He'll be accompanied by Evan Peters, most famous for his work on "American Horror Story," the "X-Men" franchise, and Netflix's "Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story." We aren't sure who Peters will be playing, but it's been reported there are two significant roles in the script he could portray: a human gamer and a computer program soldier.

Leto and Peters will be joined by Jodie Turner-Smith and Greta Lee. The last few years have been electric for Turner-Smith; she's dazzled in everything from sci-fi drama "After Yang" to road romance "Queen & Slim." Lee is enjoying a similarly impressive streak, making particularly large waves with her performance in "Past Lives." While we don't yet know what role either actor will play, Lee's is confirmed to be a lead part. Daniel Richtman — a Hollywood insider notable for his accurate scoops – has also indicated that Turner-Smith may have been cast as Athena, one of the movie's other lead roles.

In July 2023, news broke that two other actors will be appearing in "Tron: Ares": Cameron Monaghan and Sarah Desjardins. We don't know anything about the characters they'll be playing, but their filmographies are enough to excite eager fans. Monaghan is best known as Ian Gallagher on beloved dramedy "Shameless" and Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska on "Gotham." Desjardins has recently shot to fame as Callie, Shauna's teenage daughter on gritty thriller series "Yellowjackets."

Who else might appear in "Tron: Ares"? We can't say for sure, but Jeff Bridges is a definite possibility. His character might be dead, but he did reprise his original "Tron" role in "Tron: Legacy," even though multiple decades passed between them. Richtman has also claimed Cillian Murphy will be reprising his role from "Tron: Legacy." In the sequel film, he played the CEO of ENCOM, and here, Richtman says he'll play the villain. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but we can't wait to see if these scoops are accurate.

Who is directing Tron: Ares?

"Tron: Ares" has had a wide variety of directors attached to it. All the way back in 2015, "Tron: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski was announced as the director of the threequel. But little more than two months later, news broke that Disney was putting "Tron 3" on ice. Kosinski remained aligned with the project, however, commenting on its fortunes as late as 2017. But things changed over the course of the next few years. In August 2020, Garth Davis emerged as the new director of "Tron 3." Then, in January 2023, fans learned that Joachim Rønning would helm the threequel.

What will "Tron: Ares" look like now that Rønning is directing it? His previous work offers interesting material for such speculation. Rønning is best known as the director of 2017's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" and 2019's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil." This tells us he's absolutely comfortable working within franchises, and that he's interested in out-there genre conceits. He's no stranger to realism, though. Rønning helmed the 2023 biopic "Young Woman and the Sea," which explores the life of Olympic swimmer Gertrude Ederle. Basically, he's a well-rounded director with a foot in many different tonal worlds. With "Tron: Ares," he'll add tech-based sci-fi to his already impressive roster.