There is some interesting news coming out of Bleeding Cool regarding Shawn Levy and Hugh Jackman’s new movie Real Steel. The not so surprising news is that they are already planning a sequel and John Gatins, who wrote Real Steel, is returning to write the script. Levy hasn’t seemed reticent yet to return to a movie, either as a director or producer so this shouldn’t be shocking anyone. What is interesting is that I’m hearing from various people that Real Steel is actually good, which I in no way expected.
Originally I was excited because the story is at least loosely based on a short story by Richard Matheson (that I need to get my hands on in the next few weeks), which he also turned into an episode of The Twilight Zone*. Even if they manhandled Matheson’s story, which has happened before**, at least I could hope for a movie with actual coherent robot on robot action (Bay, roasted!). Seeing the trailer my excitement waned, and I was left baffled in much the same way Renn was. I couldn’t figure out what kind of movie they were trying to make – a heartfelt, and maybe overly dramatic, sports movie with sci-fi elements to add a twist (“It’s Rocky with Robots”), or a kids movie that lacked a single interesting or challenging moment (“Its Robots beating the crap out of each other”). Neither concept thrilled me and a medley of two seemed painful.
But now with the news of a sequel we get to hear more about the concepts they are exploring in the first and want to return to in the second. I will let Mr. Levy explain further:
“Some of the notions we’re playing with… for instance we went very anthropomorphic in both the design and the movement of the robots in this movie, I think we can really blow that out. The class warfare between underworld and [World Robot Boxing], that’s something that seems rich. The evolution of this father and son’s relationship, and Hugh’s relationship with Evangeline [Lilly]…”
Class warfare? That’s a dense issue to name drop for a guy who had Teddy Roosevelt have a crush on Sacajawea. I was up in the air on seeing this one, but now with the news that its good, and it’s trying to have even a small amount of brains behind it I’m in. Or maybe I’m just getting suckered by a director’s posturing about a sequel before the original comes out. It’s been known to happen. How about you?
*And is rumored to be his favorite episode.
**I’m looking at you I Am Legend!