Way back before the first Real Steel hit theatres, director Shawn Levy and star Hugh Jackman inked themselves into contracts that meant one thing. The studio sensed they had a hit on their hands. They wanted to secure the movie’s stars before the film blew up into an worldwide sensation.
And then… it didn’t.
In a frankly baffling result, Real Steel bagged $300 million at the worldwide box office – but didn’t get a follow-up. In 2014 that amount is enough to get the greenlight for a spinoff TV show, a parallel prequel franchise and more merchandise than is humanly possible for one person to acquire. The film received decent critical acclaim and audiences obviously loved it, but for some reason a sequel was not rushed into production immediately.
Cut to four years later, and Levy discussed the long-awaited sequel with the folks over at Superhero Hype during TIFF. In town to promote his upcoming drama This Is Where I Leave You, he took time out to address the burning question. Will we ever see Jackman shadowbox with robots again?
“We have been quietly developing a sequel to ‘Real Steel’ for three and a half years. We’ve come up with some great scripts but Hugh and I would only make it if the plot feels fresh, but also the character journeys feel fresh, and we’ve found both but never at the same time. It’s ongoing. I know the clock is ticking. That movie, weirdly, for a movie that did very well globally–it did okay domestically–but the love for ‘Real Steel’ remains kind of unique as far as rabid fans who ask me all the time for another one. Hugh and I love that movie so if we can crack it, we’ll make it, but I have this sense that we better make that happen soon or frankly, the audience may not be there in the same way. So we shall see.”
So, there’s fan love, which is no surprise as it’s a very enjoyable flick that delivered more than the highlights from the trailer. Plus, everyone loves robots. But seems like the only way this second instalment is gonna get off the ground is if Levy and Jackman can assimilate a script that hits on all the points that made the first such a success. Will this tidbit of news be enough to generate audience interest in the project? We can but hope.