When it first hit theaters in October 2011, the reception to Shawn Levy’s Real Steel was about as mediocre as possible, even though it was a big budget effects-driven family film with Hugh Jackman in the lead. The robotic sports movie raked in $299 million at the box office, meaning that it wasn’t a bomb, but it hardly pulled in the numbers expected of a $110 million blockbuster with an A-list star front and center.
The critical consensus was much the same, with Real Steel currently holding a 60% score on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that it’s just good enough to be rated Fresh but hardly regarded as a must-see movie. If anything, most people would have probably forgotten that it even existed had Levy’s futuristic spin on the boxing film not posted a surprisingly strong showing on Netflix after being added to the library at the end of September.
Real Steel reigned as one of the streaming service’s most popular titles for weeks as it found a huge new audience, and given his close relationship with the company as the executive producer of Stranger Things, Levy was asked in a recent interview if he was aware of his overlooked movie’s second life and whether or not he’d be interested in making another one, and his answer was very interesting.
“Yes. I will admit that I definitely exchanged some emails and conversations on the topic. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Based on how popular the film turned out to be when it arrived on Netflix, a Real Steel sequel produced exclusively by the platform isn’t the worst idea in the world. All summer, the Top 10 most-watched list was dominated by high concept action-orientated fare like Project Power and The Old Guard, and if Levy and Jackman are willing to return, then a second outing would be a guaranteed slam dunk based on how well the first one fared.