As a huge fan of Disney’s Tron movies, I’m pretty excited by the fact that the long-awaited three-quel to one of the best sci-fi movies has finally started filming. More commonly called by its unconfirmed title, Tron: Ares’ cast has been adding exciting players over the last year, with Evan Peters and Jared Leto among them. However, my excitement has just taken a huge leap forward, as X-Files vet Gillian Anderson has now been announced as officially on The Grid.
Deadline recently broke the news that Anderson will be starring in director Joachim Rønning’s sequel to 2010’s Tron: Legacy, but as you’d expect, no further details on the Sex Education star’s character have been given. So speculation is obviously going to run rampant as to which side of the digital divide Gillian will be occupying, and just whose side she's on.
That last part is really important, as Tron 3's story supposedly centers around Jared Leto’s program, Ares, crossing over from the digital world into our flesh and blood reality. Apparently, the human race is not ready for this, and it could lead to a conflict that's long been brewing on the Tron timeline.
It’s an assumption that further draws into question the potential for Tron: Ares to be a true follow-up to director Joseph Kosinski’s predecessor. Initially it looked like reports had this movie pegged as a “Jared Leto Tron reboot,” but further reports have thrown some doubt on that. Neither case is confirmed, much like the potential storyline.
So who could Gillian Anderson possibly be playing in Tron: Ares? Well, this is without any firm basis in fact, but I’d like to think that she’s been cast as a Program from the world of The Grid. I’m not saying that we couldn’t see Ms. Anderson popping up as another member of the Dillinger family in the human world, a prospect that’s equally exciting.
At the same time, I’d like to think that the woman who’s acted through many close encounters of weirdness in sci-fi TV wouldn’t just sign on for any part in a major Disney movie. Especially one as sci-fi heavy as the Tron franchise. Though there is a possibility that after starring in the bonkers X-Files story “First Person Shooter,” Gillian Anderson may indeed have wanted to sit out the prospective digital ware ahead.
And before you ask, “was that the video game episode?”, yes, it totally was. To refresh your memory, as well as introduce those who may not know about this moment in cyber history, take a look at this episode promo from way back when:
The ‘90s truly were a wild time, and while that story may not have made our rundown of the best X-Files episodes, moments like this make it worth referencing from time to time. Though admittedly, a lot has changed since Gillian Anderson had to go into a video game to save co-star David Duchovny; so who really knows?
As we patiently observe the production of Tron: Ares, Tron 3, or whatever we’re supposed to call this movie, it’s a time of celebration. The movie that we kept hoping for may finally be on its way, depending on how you feel about the ditching of Tron: Ascension’s reported plot.
No matter which side you land on though, having an acting powerhouse like Gillian Anderson involved is, without question, a plus. And it’s one I’ll happily carry with me as I wait for the next updates for this ever secretive world. Especially when the thought had occurred to me that if Disney really wanted to get creative, Anderson could be a new big bad similar to David Warner's Ed Dillinger, who gets to work both sides of the fence in the potential future of Tron's legacy.
While Tron: Ares’ story, and Gillian Anderson’s role within that structure are still top secret, there’s still a lot of history fans can brush up on. The entire Tron story so far can be experienced through various tie-in comics and games, as well as both films and the TV series Tron: Uprising. Those last couple options are easily accessible, as all you need is a Disney+ subscription to enter The Grid that Flynn built.