It would be an understatement to say that a lot of strange things happened in 2020, so by the standards of the year, forgotten robot boxing blockbuster Real Steel finding an incredible new lease of life on Netflix is far from the most bizarre scenario to have unfolded over a largely rotten twelve months.
However, making a surprise appearance in the Top 10 most-watched list at the end of September and refusing to budge for weeks on end was an unexpected development nonetheless. The high concept family film stars Hugh Jackman as a terrible father who essentially tries to sell his son so he doesn’t have to raise him, before it pivots into a thinly-veiled Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots riff.
On paper that doesn’t sound like a whimsical adventure, but subscribers couldn’t get enough of it. A decade after earning just a shade under $300 million at the box office and earning solid-if-unspectacular reviews, all of a sudden Jackman and director Shawn Levy were finding themselves getting asked about sequels.
In a new interview, Jackman addressed the resurgence of interest in Real Steel, and admitted he was thrilled that the movie had found a place in the hearts of audiences all over the world ten years after first hitting theaters.
“By the way, recently quite a lot, we’re being asked about it. Because during the pandemic, apparently, it was very very highly watched, and it was really nice. A huge hit, like ten years later, Shawn Levy said, ‘Dude, do you see what’s happening out there?’, and I said, ‘No, I don’t see anything’. But it’s really nice to know that a movie which I really loved at the time, a lot of people come up to me in the street and tell me they love that movie. Lots of dads love it. And so it’s really nice to see it get its due. It was just one of the most fun. Working with Shawn on anything is the best, and we remain really good friends.
Levy is riding high at the moment coming off the back of Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy, while Jackman could do with a hit after sci-fi mystery thriller Reminiscence flopped hard this past weekend. The filmmaker teased that he wants Reynolds for any potential second installment, and there’s clearly a lot of people ready to embrace another chapter if anyone steps in to fund the project.