The greatest achievement in Shawn Levy’s Real Steel is building the world of robot boxing. The term “robot boxing” sounds incredibly stupid when you hear it and flashes of Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots and the failed TV show Battlebots come to mind. But Levy does a tremendous job for showing not just the hi-tech wonder of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), but he takes us to the back-alleys, run-down theme parks, and country fairs where a punching robot and its owner can make some cash and win some glory. Paired with well-choreographed fights that wisely make heavy use of animatronics and practical effects, Real Steel almost has an unbeatable combination. But the clunky storytelling and awful performance from child actor Dakota Goyo stop the movie from landing a knock-out punch (I promise I’ll try to keep the boxing puns to a minimum).
Earlier this week IMAX announced they are handing out limited-edition Real Steel posters to the first 100 people at the 12:01am opening night screening at participating IMAX theaters. Hopefully, you were one of the lucky few who got your hands on one of the super cool prints created by Mr. Cartoon and Estevan Oriol’s SA Studios. If not, you can live vicariously through Collider thanks to Jason, a reader who sent in pics of the poster (we cleaned them up in Photoshop).
Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, and Anthony Mackie star in Real Steel, directed by Shawn Levy. Click here for all our coverage on the movie, and hit the jump to see the poster.
In order for all the fights to be different for the robot boxing drama Real Steel, the production hired one of the all-time greatest boxers, Sugar Ray Leonard. Having won titles in five different weight divisions, he served as a consultant for the robots and a trainer for the film’s star, Hugh Jackman.
At the film’s press day, the famed fighter talked about how the job came out of his friendship with DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider (their kids go to the same school), giving the robots each their own personal fighting style, the challenge of getting Hugh Jackman to let go and surrender to the fight, how different he is from his own boxing persona, and how his life changed after writing his personal memoir. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
One of the many things that really impressed me about director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel was the soundtrack. Unlike some movies where the songs feel out of place and you’ve never heard of the artists, Levy assembled a great mix of music from Timbaland, Crystal Method, Danny Elfman, Eminem, Tom Morello, Limp Bizkit, Beastie Boys, 50 Cent, Foo Fighters and Alexi Murdoch.
So when I sat down with Levy at the press day, he told me how he put together the soundtrack and tells a great story about his first meeting with Timbaland. In addition, he talked about his goal for Real Steel, whether or not he got notes from the studio about Hugh Jackman playing an asshole for the majority of the film, and revealed that Real Steel was the most creative control he’s ever had on any movie. Hit the jump to watch.
In the robot boxing drama Real Steel, actor Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who is forced to hustle for robot fights wherever he can get them, in order to earn enough money to survive. In a world where 2000-pounds, 8-foot-tall hunks of steel rule the ring, the stakes are brutal and the arenas are no-holds-barred. Already verging on rock bottom, Charlie reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a discarded robot that he believes could be a championship contender. You can watch some clips here.
At the film’s press day, Hugh Jackman talked about establishing the father-son relationship at the core of the film, how both he and his kids would love to have a robot of their own at home, and that he thinks it would be fun to explore Max’s teenage years, if there’s a sequel for the film. He also talked about his thoughts on Eddie Murphy as the next Oscar host, preparing a one-man show for Broadway, returning to the Wolverine character, and taking on Les Miserables, which even prompted him to sing a bit. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
In the robot boxing flick Real Steel, actor Anthony Mackie plays Finn, the charismatic host of the robot fights at The Crash Palace, an underground venue where folks go to make fast cash. Taking inspiration from Don King, Mackie jumped at the opportunity to play such a rambunctious and outlandish character, and even worked out because he knew he’d be sharing scenes with the film’s star, Hugh Jackman.
At the film’s press day, Anthony Mackie talked about how much fun he had working with Hugh Jackman, that he was initially intimidated by the huge robots because he was waiting for them to go crazy and kill everybody, that he feels this is one of the first times he’s seen a movie where the graphics are insane and the story is actually there to back it up, and that he hopes Finn will get the Don King hair, if he gets to return for a sequel. He also talked about always wanting to do something different with the roles that he chooses to do, why he was attracted to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and who he’s playing in The Gangster Squad. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Over the past few months, we’ve been reporting on director Shawn Levy’s future projects. As most of you know, he’s been attached to direct the James Cameron-produced 3D remake of Fantastic Voyage, as well as a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written by Max Landis. What has been unclear is which project would go first. So when I spoke to him today at the Real Steel press junket, I asked which was going to be his next project. He said:
“They’re both possibilities. I’m meeting with actors regarding both movies right now. I love them both and I want to make them both, but I don’t know if it’s one two or two one. But I’d say within a month I will be able to tell you with certainty which will be my spring movie.”
He also admitted the possibility exists that another project could happen instead of these two films. Hit the jump for more.
With director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel getting released October 7th, DreamWorks has sent over seven clips. Produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis, and Dakota Goyo, the film is set in near future when robot-boxing has become the most popular sport in the world. The pic centers on Charlie (Jackman) a former boxer who is attempting to mentor/program a robot to the top of the android-boxing ranks along with his estranged son.
I got to see a screening a few days ago and have to say…the movie is pretty great and the effects are incredible. It definitely has the Spielberg magic and I think a lot of fathers and sons are going to really enjoy it. Also, Levy does a great job with the material and I really think this is his ticket into fandom’s hearts. Trust me, after this opens, you’re going to see a lot of people talking about Levy in a new light. It won’t surprise me when people start mentioning his name on some high profile projects. Hit the jump for the clips and look for new interviews with the cast very soon.
by Jason Barr Posted: September 10th, 2011 at 11:38 am
Happy Saturday, everyone. The fall movie season is upon us and, in honor of its arrival, Adam and myself are working on a “most anticipated” feature which you should be able to check out later this weekend. As a result of working on that little diddy, I’m cutting my typically awe-inspiring opening “Top 5″ paragraph a little short. I know, I know…you’re heartbroken.
In this week’s installment you’ll find all of our coverage from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival; a plethora of set visit materials from Real Steel, End of Watch and Dolphin Tale; and a look at Nike’s Back to the Future MAGs. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.
In June of 2010, I was able to visit the set of director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel when the production was filming at a hundred year old Ford factory in Detroit. As most of you know, “Real Steel is an action drama about a former boxer (Hugh Jackman) who, against all odds, gets one last shot at a comeback when he teams up with his estranged son (Dakota Goyo) to build and train the perfect contender for the new high-tech sport of robot boxing.” As I said in my set report, I think Real Steel is going to surprise audiences when it hits theaters on October 7. Here’s a few of the highlights from the on set interview with Jackman:
- Jackman was blown away by the locations they were shooting in Michigan. They shot in the Ford Motor Plant and he said it’s sad because when you see it on film people will think it’s an extension to make the set look larger, but it was real.
- Jackman was drawn to the project because of the arc and emotion of the story.
- He said the technology allows the actors to have much more trust in the film. They can actually see what they’re acting opposite and are able to adlib and change things on the spot.
- Jackman said that Levy would direct scenes to music in order to get the tone or mood of a scene.
- Jackman worked with Sugar Ray Leonard, who choreographed the film’s fight scenes.
- He describes the ratio of drama to fighting as similar to the first Rocky movie. It’s very character story driven, and when there are fights they’re emotionally engaging.
Hit the jump for the full interview.
If you’ve been reading the site for the past two years, you know we’ve been following Real Steel since its inception. When the movie was first announced, I was one of many who thought that director Shawn Levy making a robot boxing movie sounded like a really stupid idea. After all, the guy who made Pink Panther and the Night at the Museum movies taking on robot boxing? Um…no thanks. However, after visiting the set in June of 2010 and the editing room last December, I’m convinced Real Steel is going to be one of the surprises of 2011.
What you need to know is that Real Steel is not just about robot boxing. It’s about a father and son finally coming together. It’s about someone that’s always been down on his luck getting the chance to win it all. And the way they are telling the story is pushing the limits of motion picture technology. Finally, Real Steel is produced by Steven Spielberg and the story is loaded with little touches that he put in. Again, I really think this movie is going to surprise all of you, and Levy might end up being a director you want on a future comic book movie. For more on the film, hit the jump for “20 Things to Know About Real Steel” from our set visit and you can also watch my video blog recap.
New posters have gone online for Real Steel, The Ides of March, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The Real Steel poster finally uses Hugh Jackman’s mug instead of his silhouette or the boxing robot’s camel-fist. Speaking of handsome faces, Ryan Gosling is a good-looking dude looking at fellow attractive gent George Clooney in the poster for the political thriller The Ides of March. I’ll let folks in the comments section debate who’s hotter (answer: Clooney). Finally, there’s a UK quad poster for Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that’s packed with blurbs from British publications raving about the movie.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. Real Steel and The Ides of March open October 7th. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opens in the UK on September 16th and in the US on December 9th.
by Jason Barr Posted: August 22nd, 2011 at 4:44 pm
DreamWorks has released a new featurette for director Shawn Levy’s (Date Night) robot-boxing, action/drama Real Steel. Starring Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis, and Dakota Goyo, the film is set in the year 2020 when robot-boxing has inevitably become the most popular sport in the world. The pic centers on Charlie (Jackman) a former boxer who is now attempting to mentor/program a robot to the top of the android-boxing ranks. Essentially, it’s Rocky V with robots (and hopefully a climactic back-alley brawl between Jackman and his electronic protege).
Check out the new featurette, which assures potential moviegoers that boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard was in fact involved in the making of the film, after the jump and click here to watch the latest trailer. Real Steel opens on October 7th.
We’re all down here in a very crowded San Diego where this year’s Comic-Con will be kicking off tonight with preview night, and we’ve just learned that Hugh Jackman will be making a surprise appearance at the convention. The actor will be in the Petco parking lot tomorrow morning at 10:30am PST along with the Real Steel truck that will be driving around San Diego this weekend. Jackman will be handing out free toys and swag for the Shawn Levy-directed robot boxing flick. Real Steel opens October 7th and stars Anthony Mackie, Evangeline Lily, and Hope Davis. And be sure to check back here on Collider all weekend as we’ll have our full-scale coverage from Comic-Con 2011.
A new trailer for Rock ‘Em Sock—er—Real Steel has been released. This one’s the Japanese version and gives us a look at some more footage (with super-serious Japansese narration!). While the visual effects on the robots looks fantastic, the story still comes off as incredibly ham-fisted. I’m still waiting for something about this film to look appealing besides “the robots look cool.”
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Anthony Mackie, Hope Davis, Kevin Durand, and Evangeline Lilly. Real Steel opens October 7th.