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Real Steel reveals star and plot

HughJackman.jpg The director of Real Steel, which sounds a strange choice for a science fiction film, Shawn Levy, has confirmed the rumour from last month that Hugh Jackman is taking the lead in his futuristic fight film where humanity has become so bored with humans boxing that they've create robots to do it for them and they fight beyond the capabilities of human fighters, pulverising each other until they are totally destroyed.

Now I have my own theories about what's happening with this story, and I like to think I'm going to turn out to be right because it's a pretty cool idea, but then I'm no film-maker, and I might just have read too much into what the director has been saying about the story.

Shawn Levy was talking at a promotion of his new DVD/Blu-ray release for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and started to talk about one of his next projects, Real Steel.

Firstly, through SciFi Wire, he revealed that Hugh Jackman is indeed taking the lead of the project, and then he talked a little about the story and the film.

"Hugh Jackman plays a former boxer who can therefore no longer do the only thing he was ever good at and has to make his way in this new world…It's faithful to the story in that that story was very much about a down-on-his-luck, slightly desperate journeyman who works in this robot boxing sport and who is desperately needing redemption and one last shot. The movie is more Rocky than Transformers."

He goes to great lengths to make sure that we know the robots are not going to be like robots we've seen before, these are going to be something different.

He also reveals that he couldn't say no when Steven Spielberg called him with the idea, and that the big man had some specific things to say about the project:

"When I sat down with Steven, I had a very, very specific vision of this movie, one that really puts the emphasis on the story and the sports-movie aspect as much as on the machinery…"

So we know the tone, but what about the story? Well he talks over what we already know about the project from the story last month, and in fact back then we had more. Here's what I said then:

…in a world where real boxers are replaced by robots and the ex-fighters have to change themselves to adapt to the new world. The robots are used to fight instead, and many ex-fighters become boxing promoters running robots in the ring. Hugh Jackman would play one of these ex-fighters who is now running a robot.

His character isn't a very strong one, he's been struggling with readjusting his life and moving forward when the world banned boxing for being too violent, then he finds a robot that never loses and starts working for him, promoting his career. It's around this time that he also finds that he has a thirteen year old son and they begin to get to know each other as they continue the fighting.

The story is written by John Gatins along with Levy from a rewrite by Leslie Bohem of an original script from Dan Gilroy and adapted from a short story by Richard Matheson.

Now some people are getting confused about this and aren't sure what part Hugh Jackman's character will be playing in the film, well it's clear from the previous comments that he'll be playing a promoter, but then there's a lot of talk about his character fighting again, and there's only two real ways that this could happen.

He could join an underground fighting circuit where humans fight robots, or humans fight humans once again, or he could, and this is the one I like for the idea, be inside his robot doing the actual fighting himself.

I'm really not sure about that, but hearing some of the comments that have come up I'm wondering how Jackman's character manages to build this robot that never loses, despite having no money to take on the big names, and with the hints at his character actually returning to fighting would lead me to think that.

Maybe it's a possibility, but either storyline sounds interesting. What I do hope is that it doesn't become focused on the father-son storyline.



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