The news arrived yesterday that Vin Diesel was set to remain in business with Universal, the studio behind the all-conquering Fast & Furious franchise, to produce and star in a live-action Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots movie through his One Race Films banner. Mattel are also heavily involved in the project, which is set to be written by Ryan Engle, who scripted Liam Neeson action thrillers Non-Stop and The Commuter, as well as Dwayne Johnson’s video game adaptation Rampage.
In keeping with Diesel’s signature role as Dominic Toretto, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots has been described as a story about family, as a father and son duo form a unique bond with an advanced fighting machine that eventually brings them closer together. Of course, the internet has been quick to point out that we’ve seen this exact movie already, and it was called Real Steel.
Real Steel itself was clearly indebted to Mattel’s beloved toys for inspiration, with Hugh Jackman’s deadbeat dad initially agreeing to basically sell his son before they bond over the course of several robot fighting tournaments. Naturally, people were keen to point out the comparisons, and you can see some of the reactions below.
Real Steel exists though. https://t.co/Er9BFfkKM6
— CinemaSins (@cinemasins) April 19, 2021
Wasn't Real Steel basically the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots movie? https://t.co/kGVFz93YUb
— Rohoundour | Mitchells vs. the Machines in 10 days (@Rohan_312) April 19, 2021
Vin diesel is getting a rock em sock em robot movie, which is dumb asf, they need to make real steel 2, hopefully they do good but not very hopeful pic.twitter.com/2lDfeua3Tz
— Ronin (@Anime_Ronin) April 19, 2021
does real steel mean nothing to you people https://t.co/VYGeIa2uwm
— Shinobu (@NotJohn____) April 19, 2021
I see Real Steel trending and it goes without saying…
That movie ABSOLUTELY needs a sequel pic.twitter.com/7bmNUg2gIM
— TChalla#blacklivesmatter ✊🏿 (@DJ_Smiles715) April 19, 2021
Real Steel was and still is a Masterpiece pic.twitter.com/QO2uLiqFNH
— RedLightning ⚡ (@RedLightning_69) April 19, 2021
I realize Real Steel was basically just Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, but come on guys… https://t.co/eGIWXzJ6sq
— Tomodachi (@KoltonSaurus) April 20, 2021
They already did this. It's called Real Steel with Hugh Jackman. Uggghhh….https://t.co/gr3FAlsveU
— Aaron Henley (@ahenley2011) April 19, 2021
Real Steel did not go hard af to be disrespected like this. https://t.co/OCfNZrWwYd
— Ashe (@CoveredInAshe) April 19, 2021
Dude, REAL STEEL is literally right there. https://t.co/ZPFURJ7Bqt
— Witney Seibold (@WitneySeibold) April 19, 2021
I thought they already made a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots movie. It was called Real Steel and starred Hugh Jackman.
— Jonathan 🌌 (@Atreides42) April 19, 2021
No, dammit, we already had a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em movie, and it was called Real Steel. Stop with this one when I still haven't gotten my Hungry Hungry Hippos movie that was promised so very long ago. https://t.co/4O9AqxUsDx
— Madison Carter (@madisoncarter76) April 20, 2021
So we gon pretend Real Steel don't exist huh? https://t.co/ZVZWcjpelm
— Samir (@sktchmstrskllz) April 19, 2021
This is the closest thing we're getting to a Real Steel sequel isn't it? https://t.co/iCzbMtxRZs
— Super Sketch Software (@SketchSuper) April 19, 2021
— OrionPax09 (@OrionPax09) April 19, 2021
Real Steel's trending and I was suddenly reminded of the hilarious background advertisements for an Xbox 720 in the film. pic.twitter.com/HerCgn3Uid
— Navi (@PlayerPhase) April 19, 2021
Real Steel is trending and I thought we were talking about this pic.twitter.com/U9yYuDSFPU
— M. Scarn (@Sc0ttst0tts) April 19, 2021
Shawn Levy’s family-friendly blockbuster didn’t earn enough at the box office to generate a sequel, but it’s since gained an appreciation as something of an underrated cult favorite, and it dominated Netflix’s most-watched list for weeks on end after being added to the library last year, leading to hopes that a second installment could happen. It looks like Diesel’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots is getting there first, but social media users would clearly much rather see Real Steel 2.