Next month marks the 10th anniversary of “Tron: Legacy,” the sequel to the groundbreaking 80s sci-fi film that also set a special effects milestone of its own with the early de-aging technology used on the film’s star, Jeff Bridges. A decade later, in an era of deepfakes and even more powerful CGI technology, one YouTuber has decided to update the film with today’s visual effects.
In the video posted by Youtuber Shamook, we see a scene featuring Clu, a program created by Jeff Bridges’ character and original “Tron” protagonist Kevin Flynn. Created to resemble Flynn’s younger self and to make Flynn’s virtual, The Grid, a more perfect world for both programs and users, Clu became corrupted by his quest for perfection and took over The Grid.
Clu was played by the then-60-year-old Bridges, with CGI technology used to de-age him down to his mid-30s. But critics were lukewarm on the results, with the phrase “uncanny valley” regularly being used to describe the character. Since then, films like “Captain Marvel” and “The Irishman” have pushed the boundaries of de-aging tech, while deepfakes have shown how easily one’s likeness can be imitated by a computer. Using a program called DeepFaceLabs, Shamook was able to make Clu look closer to 1982 Jeff Bridges than ever before.
“Tron: Legacy” is available to stream on Disney+. Watch the deepfake comparison in the clip above.