Hugh Jackman Confirmed to Star in Shawn Levy's Real Steel
by Alex Billington
November 24, 2009
The freshly funded (with $825 million) DreamWorks has greenlit its first project - Real Steel, which will be directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and star Hugh Jackman. You've probably heard about this project before, as we've written about it twice before. Real Steel is a futuristic Rocky-esque story about a father and son who take their human-like 2000-pound robot to the Bot Boxing Championship. It's originally based on a short story by Richard Matheson that was adapted by Dan Gilroy (Freejack, The Fall) in 2005 (that draft was sold to DreamWorks for $850,000) then revised by John Gatins (Hardball, Coach Carter).
Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider will both be producing at DreamWorks, the first movie they've greenlit since splitting with Universal. The budget will reportedly be about $80 million, which is less than most of Spielberg's big projects these days. Peter from SlashFilm is actually concerned, saying: "But can they make a big sci-fi movie for $80 million? That’s about half to one third of the average big hollywood sci-fi tentpole release now-a-days." Indeed it is, but I think Levy and Spielberg should be able to pull this off. Or so I hope. Production is slated to start in June next year. I wonder who they'll find for the 11-year-old kid in this?
"When we took it with us, we really highlighted it as something we would put the pedal to metal on," said DreamWorks co-president of production Mark Sourian. "It's a project that Steven always wanted to do. It just came together rapidly after we left Paramount." To add more to the plot, Jackman will play a struggling Robot Boxing promoter who finds a discarded robot that always seems to win and discovers he has a son. Levy describes this as a "rousing sports movie," explaining that Jackman's character is "a former boxer who can no longer do the only job he's good at, and one particular robot that may be his return to grace."