Tussaud’s Lookalike Bridges

On the left, a 31 or 32 year-old Jeff Bridges in a scene from Tron (’82). On the right, a CG plastic-surgery version of “young” Bridges in the forthcoming Tron Legacy. The latter was achieved by youthing down the present-day Bridges, 60, with digital scrubs and touchups. Except the result doesn’t really look like Bridges. It looks like a cross between a celebrity lookalike and a Bridges dummy you might find inside Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. It’s a lazy effort.

Jeff Bridges in Tron; 60 year-old Bridges de-aged through CG scrub-down in Tron Legacy.

Imagine how cool it would have been if Bridges had been convincingly youthified — if the 31 or 32-year-old version had literally been brought back to life. For “real.” I don’t know enough about CG techniques to speak with authority but I know a thing or two about what’s possible. And if you ask me director Joseph Kosinski should have told his team to digitally copy and re-work frame images from various Bridges’ films in the late ’70s and early ’80s and then integrate them into Tron Legacy. That way we’d be looking at Bridges as he actually appeared nearly 30 years ago.

I was told a few months ago that Kosinski is “the new James Cameron.” And I’m starting to doubt that. Cameron would have never settled for this.

  • Christian White

    That just could not be a shot of Jeff Bridges from 1982. Impossible. That look slike a shot of Jeff Bridges from the mid-nineties AT LEAST. Update: Replaced!

  • Christian White

    ps – if you simply google search “jeff bridges 1982” you will see that he looked NOTHING like the image you have posted of him…dont mean to be a stickler, but… Update: Replaced!

  • Jeffrey Wells

    I copied it from a Tron photo assortment but maybe, okay, mistakes happen. But you get the idea. He looked younger back then (obviously) but he looked like Bridges, whereas the CG-youth version in Tron Legacy looks like someone (or something) else. Update: Replaced!

  • A Pop Calypso

    The photo on this website looks nothing like you, either. Frickin’ nitpicking here. Update: Replaced!

  • Christian White

    I think this image is from the special features of the TRON special edition dvd…i hear what you’re saying though regarding the CG…I was somewhat sold on the footage of the de-aged Bridges UNTIL he opened his mouth to speak. Yikes. Now – of course these effects are still being finessed im sure but I agree with you that a “pastiche” of creatively utilized shots of Bridges from his films of that peiod being brought into the design would be key. Well observed!

  • DiscoNap

    Now I’m really glad Gemini Man with Harrison Ford never happened.

  • The CGI-Bridges looks more like a CGI-Alec Baldwin, and the new young Bridges pic is now more representative of how he looked at that age.

    Still, even Bridges today looks better than the CGI-Bridges (in a way).

  • bents75

    This reminds me of Hot Tub Time Machine when they’re all looking in the mirror and you just see younger actor look-alikes on the other side.

    With “the other guys” I didn’t see the big deal, because I had no idea what they looked like back then anyway. But when everyone knows damn well what a mid-80’s John Cusack looked like, I thought it was pretty lazy that they couldn’t digitally insert an actual version of a younger Cusack into those shots. Especially since there was only a handful of those shots in the first place.

    If I was running that show, I wouldn’t care if it took another 5 million for the budget. All I’d be concerned about is having a proper looking young Cusack in it.

  • coxcable

    Is it me or does Tron-Bridges looks like director Zack Snyder?

  • Markj74

    The new James Cameron? I doubt it.

  • Is the film finished? Trailers often include unfinished effects. I’ll be surprised if the final product is much better than what we’ve seen, but still, can we wait and see what ends up in the actual movie before we decide the effects are a disgrace?

    You seem to be doing this more and more, Wells: Prematurely condemning a film based on scraps of “evidence” you get before the film is even complete. “Tree of Life” should have dropped its dinosaurs… because you just can’t imagine it working. “Tron: Legacy” has sub-standard effects… because you saw a trailer. What’s next? Scorsese’s “Silence” is going to suck because, well, I saw an out-of-focus picture of Gael Garcia Bernal and he looked a little under the weather.

  • DiscoNap

    I don’t buy this “the effects aren’t finished” bullshit in this and the Tron thread. Clearly it’s true, but also what’s being presented is something the filmmakers and the studio feel is acceptable. Which generally means the finished effects aren’t going to be that much more seamless. Did the ’03 Hulk get any better after the Super Bowl ads?

  • ivavi

    1. He looks more like Beau Bridges

    2. Jeff, you should try using region captures instead of taking photos of your monitor. Grab is a native application on your mac, find it under Utilities or just search it with Spotlight (Cmd+Space Bar).

  • DiscoNap, did you sleep through the rather significant changes in the effects of “Avatar” over the release of its various trailers? It has been known to happen.

    I mean… you’re *probably* right, and these *probably* are the finished effects. But I’m responding to a trend in Wells’ posts of rushing to punish a film before we’ve even seen the film.

    Can anybody think of other trailers that contained unfinished effects?

  • YND

    Good call Overstreet — I was just about to mention the AVATAR trailers as well. Yes, these days it seems like FX are rendering nearly up until the week of release… trailer FX are almost always months away from being finished. (If the FX in the new PIRANHA movie look like they do in the trailer… yipes.)

  • larry braverman

    I don’t disagree with your negative reaction, but how is this a lazy effort? You say you know what’s possible, but what movie has ever pulled off de-ageing seamlessly?

  • actionman

    “Now I’m really glad Gemini Man with Harrison Ford never happened.”

    It’s a shame that Gemini Man never got made. Great script.

    I think the de-aging looks terrific. Don’t get any of the bitching.

    Also, the older photo of Bridges doesn’t look like Bridges at all — looks like Craig Wasson.

  • crazynine

    Wait a second– the younger Jeff Bridges doesn’t look like the *real* younger Jeff Bridges… but the younger Jeff Bridges *isn’t* the real younger Jeff Bridges, it’s Clu, a computer-generated “program” version of Jeff Bridges.

    What am I supposed to be butt-hurt about here again? I’m so confused…

  • Abbey Normal

    Larry @ 16: I thought they did a pretty solid job de-aging Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button…of course, Fincher was smart enough to keep the young Pitt mostly in shadow, which presumably covered up some of the digital artifacts.

  • Mark

    “You say you know what’s possible, but what movie has ever pulled off de-ageing seamlessly?”

    I was OK with the de-aging of Ian and Stewart in X3. CGI was noticeable, but the result looked human. This is a step backwards; if they couldn’t equal or exceed X3, then just do a Jack in The Departed. I.e., died wig and dark lighting.

  • Ghost072

    I agree, actionman, Gemini Man is a great script and I hope that it comes back around with the new technology available.

  • Peterzee

    Crazynine makes a point — in the trailer, the synthetic nature of the CGJeff is kinda creepy, so if there’s obvious artifice, an uncanny valley between him and the real Bridges, it might actually work for the film.

  • LexG

    Can they use this technology to DE-AGE Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler back to 1994 hotness, instead of the drowsy vegan loon and frumpy linebacker-sized Sasquatch they mystifying evolved into?

  • DiscoNap

    I don’t doubt the script on Gemini Man is great, but the technology isn’t there yet. It would remain an embarrassment.

  • lapshin

    ivavi is right. the new Bridges looks just like his brother Beau. In fact, he looks even more like his dad, may he rest in peace. I kind of agree that the effects are probably not yet finished in what we’re seeing, but the Hulk effects were not finished in the trailers either and did not improve much with the finished film. At the risk of getting the Avatar supporter’s panties in the bunch, I have to say that the CGI in the trailers for Avatar and in the film also did not knock me on my ass. It was ok, but for that kind of money, it was only slightly better than the CGI in the Star Wars prequels. For me, Fincher still did the best aging and de-aging effects with Benjamin Button. Yes, the younger Pitt was not always brightly lit, but none of the effect work stood out, is what I’m saying. In Button, the age-related effects felt seamless. Here they look pretty atrocious. Oddly, the only recent CGIng of an actor’s face from his younger days onto a new body that I did like was the few seconds of Arnie’s mug in Terminator Salvation. I know a different actor played the Terminator, but that effect worked really well.

  • streeter

    for what it’s worth, I don’t think the CG Bridges is supposed to resemble 1982 Jeff Bridges, but instead late 80s Jeff Bridges. The Flynn character goes missing in the late 1980s.

  • markj

    The new James Cameron? I doubt it.

  • reverent and free

    Looks like Alec Baldwin meets that creepy Orville Redenbacher ressurection ad. The de aging effects of Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellen was fairly impressive in X-Men The Last Stand.

  • RMB


    I’d like to point out the de-aged Bridges ISN’T supposed to be a de-aged Bridges. It’s actually the computer program CLU, a villian in the film, programmed to look like Bridges. It’s not a human “user.” So, I believe the unreality is sort of intentional.

    Of course, they could just be unfinished effects.

  • DeeZee

    bents: I’m guessing the idea for Hot Tub was to have younger versions of the characters, not the actors.

  • MilkMan

    The New Young Bridges looks like a Young Pat Buchanan.

    This movie will suck. Bet on it. The first one sucked too.

    And they said that the skeevoso who directed Sky Captain was the new Cameron. I think one James Cameron is enough, maybe even one more than we really need.

  • Joe G

    ivavi and I had the same reaction. They missed Jeff and hit Beau.

    Wasn’t the original Tron a painfully dull POS? Run this stuff enough times on cable and it becomes a “classic” (see Clash of the Titans).

  • MrFlibble

    They couldn’t Benjamin Button or Terminator 3 him? Given we know how well it can work, what the hell were they thinking? Sure, the technology has its limits, but they could certainly have worked with that.

    Also, the second trailer for Tron sucks so much. The first, crazy guitar dude and all, was so much better.

  • Rich S.

    Ah, but in the trailer, Flynn also lives in the computer world. So Clu is still an imperfect copy of the real thing.

  • I think It looks like him! Nice work guys…