When will Tron: Ares be released?

Get three-ressed with another return to the grid

Tron Ares is currently in production (Disney/FilmMagic/Getty)
Tron Ares is currently in production (Disney/FilmMagic/Getty)

After years spent stuck in development cyberspace, Tron 3 is finally set to materialise in 2025 under the title Tron: Ares.

Audiences last left this retro-futuristic world over a decade ago when Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski uploaded a new hero into the grid for an all-new adventure that was both fresh and nostalgic all at once.

Tron: Legacy starred Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn, the estranged son of Jeff Bridges’ original 1982 Tron hero, Kevin Flynn.

After his gaming pioneer father goes missing following the events of filmmaker Steven Lisberger’s first film, Sam spends his days trying to track him down, eventually landing himself in the neon-hued world of the grid where he comes face-to-face with two versions of his father — one in current day form and another as a younger, antagonistic gaming program named Clu.

Read more: Tron at 40: The groundbreaking Disney flop that stood the test of time

Featuring perhaps our first major example of the actor de-ageing technology that’s now commonplace in movies, Tron: Legacy set the scene for more stories set in this slick world over the coming years.

After a hefty wait, Tron: Ares will finally make good on that promise. Here’s everything we know about it so far.

TRON: Ares. Photo by Leah Gallo. © 2024 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The first official still from Tron: Ares. (Disney)

Tron: Ares will be released in cinemas on 10 October, 2025.

Filming was due to begin in Vancouver, Canada in July 2023, but was delayed due to the Hollywood strikes strike. Director Joachim Rønning shared his frustration in an Instagram post, writing: “We are shut down with over a hundred and fifty people laid off.”

Filming took place in Toronto between February and May 2024, with its director saying “Tron: Ares builds upon the legacy of cutting-edge design, technology and storytelling. Now more than ever, it feels like the right time to return to the Grid.”

According to the official synopsis, Tron: Ares “follows a highly sophisticated Program, Ares, who is sent from the digital world into the real world on a dangerous mission, marking humankind’s first encounter with A.I. beings.”

Jared Leto at the 2023 Met Gala: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023 in New York, New York. (Photo by Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images)
Jared Leto at the 2023 Met Gala. (Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images)

Oscar winner Jared Leto has been confirmed to star in Tron: Ares as rogue programme Ares. He’ll be joined by original Tron actor Jeff Bridges who has also been confirmed to reprise his role of programmer Flynn.

Speaking about returning to the franchise, Bridges said he was looking forward to working with Leto.

“Jared Leto is the star of this third one. I’m really anxious to work with him. I’ve admired his work,” the actor told the Film Comment podcast during a conversation that had been recorded some weeks ago

Bridges expressed disappointment in the way Tron: Legacy de-aged his likeness, saying he “didn’t like the way I looked in it... I felt like I looked more like Bill Maher than myself. It was kind of bizarre.”

Jeff Bridges also starred in Tron Legacy. (Disney)
Jeff Bridges also starred in Tron Legacy. (Disney)

He also teased that the sequel will have “even less AI stuff” and use practical sets. “There are beautiful sets that I’ve seen... So we’ll see.”

American Horror Story star Evan Peters has also joined the project in an as-yet-undisclosed role. According to reports, it has been suggested that Peters could play a digital soldier in the Tron world and also his human gamer counterpart — although this hasn’t been confirmed.

Other cast members include Gillian Anderson, Jodie Turner-Smith and Past Lives’ breakout star Greta Lee.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 24: Jodie Turner-Smith attends the 74th Annual Parsons Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on May 24, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Parsons School of Design)
Jodie Turner-Smith has been cast in Tron Ares. (Getty Images for Parsons School of Design)

Sarah Desjardins, who plays Callie Sadecki on Yellowjackets, has also joined the film, as has Cameron Monaghan. Hasan Minhaj and Arturo Castro will also appear.

It’s currently unknown whether original Tron star Bruce Boxleitner will be back for the threequel. His co-star Cindy Morgan, who played program Yori in the first film, passed away in early 2024.

Garret Hedlund and Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. (Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved)
Garret Hedlund and Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. (Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved)

The road to Tron 3 has been a long one, stretching all the way back to the early days of Tron: Legacy’s 2010 release. Originally, Legacy director Kosinski was due to return to helm the project, working from a third script penned by part-two writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.

It was teased that this Tron threequel — then titled TR3N — would continue directly on from the end events of Legacy and follow the characters of Hedlund’s Sam and Legacy newcomer Quorra, played by Olivia Wilde as they embark on an adventure set in the real world.

Read more: Jared Leto lets slip Tron 3's title

Despite a short film released on the Tron: Legacy Blu-ray that acted as a mini TR3N teaser, Kosinski’s follow-up languished in development hell for the next few years, with various rewrites happening and new projects for its director getting in the way of a start date.

Tron 1982 Real  Steven Lisberger Bruce Boxleitner Cindy Morgan. COLLECTION CHRISTOPHEL © Walt Disney Productions / Lisberger Kushner
Cindy Morgan and Bruce Boxleitner in 1982's Tron. (Alamy/Disney)

There were a few hopeful signs though. Original Tron star Bruce Boxleitner, who played the titular Tron programme and his human counterpart Alan Bradley in the first film and 2013’s sequel, was confirmed to return for part three, with Hedlund and Wilde remaining attached.

Eventually, the film looked ready to enter production in 2015 before Disney hit the brakes indefinitely, with Boxleitner later commenting that he may be ready to leave the role behind following multiple false starts. Talk died down slightly until Jared Leto was confirmed to join the franchise in 2017, working from a newly tweaked script by screenwriter Jesse Wigutow with Garth Davies replacing Kosinski as director.

Read more: Disney+ Tron series no longer happening

More behind-the-scenes shuffles ensued until Disney officially gave the third Tron movie the green light in early 2023, with Leto starring as a new titular character named Ares and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil director Joachim Rønning helming a finalised screenplay by Wigutow and Jack Thorne.

With production for Tron: Ares still ongoing no footage is available for the movie. As soon as it arrives, you’ll find it here.

Tron: Ares is coming to cinemas on 10 October, 2025.