Coming off the worldwide success of Real Steel, director Shawn Levy had his pick of projects. And while it seemed like a few other movies might have gotten to the starting line first, after meeting and collaborating with Vince Vaughn on The Watch (which Levy produced), the actor pitched him on the idea of The Internship, and they started filming soon after.
During a break in production on set last year, I was able to interview Levy with a movie reporter from Yahoo. We talked about getting Google to sign off, how he edits what he shoots that day, the soundtrack, filming for both a PG-13 or an R rating, having actors that are great improvisers, why he’s using a digital camera, future projects such Project Aloha, Night at the Museum 3, 39 Clues, Fantastic Voyage, and Real Steel 2, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say, but be aware that there are some spoilers regarding cameos in The Internship.
When director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel opened last October, it surprised quite a few people. For one, the so-called “robot boxing movie” packed a whole lot of heart. While some may have been expecting wall-to-wall robot fights, they soon found out that buried beneath this sci-fi adventure was an emotional father-son story. Secondly, audiences discovered that Real Steel featured some of the best visual effects of the year. I nstead of relying solely on CG for the numerous robot-boxing matches, Levy opted for a nuanced blend of practical effects and cutting-edge motion capture technology. What resulted was some of the most seamlessly blended effects in recent memory. When it came time for the Oscars to announce the contenders in the Best Visual Effects category, it was no surprise that Real Steel popped up on the list.
As we’re just a few weeks away from the Academy Awards, Steve got the chance to sit down with Levy earlier today to talk about the visual effects in the film. In addition to musing on the hybrid effects approach, the SimulCam technology that made the effects possible, and what sets Real Steel apart from the other VFX nominees, Levy also provided a few updates on the Real Steel sequel, specifically talking about how their approach to Real Steel 2 was directly influenced by what demographics responded to Real Steel most passionately. Hit the jump to watch the full interview.
Shawn Levy’s Real Steel doesn’t even hit theaters until October 7th, but DreamWorks is happy enough with what they’ve seen to begin development on a sequel. For those unfamiliar with the movie, Real Steel is being billed as Rocky-meets-Transformers (although I prefer calling it Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots the Movie) and takes place in a future where robot boxing has replaced human boxing. Hugh Jackman plays a former boxer who becomes a promoter and bonds with his estranged teenage son as they attempt to have their robot win the title. While I’m wary of Levy (his past credits include the Night at the Museum movies and The Pink Panther remake), Steve was impressed by what he saw when he visited the editing bay.
Deadline reports that original screenwriter John Gatins has been hired to write the sequel and that DreamWorks plans to make new deals with Jackman and Levy. Hit the jump to check out the teaser trailer for Real Steel. The film also stars Evangeline Lilly, Hope Davis, Kevin Durand, Dakota Goyo, and Anthony Mackie.