Photo by Gage Skidmore
We can get all nostalgic about the release of Tron: Legacy, reliving our teens and our wonderment at the groundbreaking visual effects in the original film. But we can’t travel back in time and be 16 again.
The same cannot be said for the movie’s star, Jeff Bridges. Not only does the sequel give the 61-year-old thespian a chance to once again walk (or should we say cycle) in the shoes of his character Kevin Flynn, but thanks to the even more groundbreaking effects in the new film, Bridges can in fact be 26 years younger, too.
In addition to reprising his role, he’s also appearing as an Avatar named Clu, a version of his 35-year-old self. The 3D vision isn’t meant to replicate Bridges exactly as he looked in the original film, but mirrors his image a few years later.
As for the technical process, a youthful CGI model of the star’s face was grafted onto another actor’s body. Bridges acted out the scenes and animators interpreted his expressions. This kind of intense character creation isn’t foreign to an effects driven film world populated with Gollems from The Lord of the Rings franchise and Dobbys from the Harry Potter films. Nor is it the first time an actor’s face has been created for shots — think Brandon Lee being digitally generated so that The Crow film could be completed after his untimely death.
Still it just might kick off a wave of celebs looking to take on roles that they are a little long in the tooth for now. We’re picturing a When Harry Met Sally sequel with young replicants of Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. Could happen. Stay tuned.
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