Shawn Levy Bringing Futuristic Robot Boxing in Real Steel
by Ethan Anderton
September 15, 2009
Fighting robots have been a hot commodity as the success of both Transformers movies have proven. Hell, before the Autobots and Decepticons were battling on the big screen, I was a big fan of the small-screen robotic battles highlighted every week on the short-lived "BattleBots." Apparently even without the cameras rolling these battles still happen amongst the most gifted electrical engineers. But another form of robot combat will be hitting the screen with the announcement of director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) helming Real Steel, a film about a father and son who take a robot to the Bot Boxing Championship.
While this might just sound like a big screen adaptation of the Rock’em Sock’em Robots (after all there are many, many other toys getting their own movie), there's, dare I say, more than meets the eye to these robot boxing matches. The film is set in the near future, where people control human-like 2000-pound robots that duke it out in the boxing ring. It's akin to the same intense virtual reality seen in Gerard Butler's Gamer, but in a less lethal fashion. But then again, maybe the boxing controller feels some of the hits. That'd make for an interesting element, but since it's a father and son team, I'm sure the real violence won't be there.
Still, I don't know about you, but I think this sounds awesome. And I'm to go even further and proclaim my faith in Shawn Levy with this kind of material as someone who thoroughly enjoyed both Night at the Museum films for exactly what they were: fun family fare. But if family friendly humor isn't your cup of tea, you'll be able to see how Levy handles a more adult audience when his newest comedy Date Night (starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey) arrives in theaters next April. Real Steel is being exec produced by Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey for ImageMovers. Levy is expected to direct the film next year.