Real Steel Director Shawn Levy Says A Sequel Is Possible

Fans of the feature film "Real Steel" have been eagerly awaiting any update on a possible sequel for the robot-boxing film. Originally released in 2011, "Real Steel" starred Hugh Jackman and earned nearly $300M worldwide. After the positive reception from fans, many -- including director Shawn Levy -- started wondering if there was a possibility for more.

During a Q&A following a screening of the film in IMAX hosted by Collider, Levy gave the audience an update on the still percolating "Real Steel 2."

"The most frequent tweet I get is about the sequel to 'Real Steel,'" said Levy. "I wish I had a conclusive answer. Here’s the truth: We started developing a sequel like six months before the movie came out. We knew as soon as we started previewing this movie and it was getting mid to high 90s at every test screening. It happens really rarely, but the movie had something that audiences responded to and so we started coming up with ideas for the sequel. The simple truth, the most concise truth I can express, is that it proved, and it has proven, really hard to come up with a sequel that doesn’t feel like a re-hash of the first movie. Yeah, people wanted to see Atom beat Zeus, I would love to see Atom beat Zeus, but you don’t want to retell the story of kind of an alienation between Charlie and Max because that is really the plot of the first movie."

While Levy doesn't have a concrete idea for a story, he did say he would like to explore Atom's origin and get into how he was built. "What is it about his design that might have embedded some artificial or organic intelligence and consciousness, such that he is self-aware to some extent?" said Levy. "So all I’ll say is, we’ve attempted it a few times with a number of writers, and no draft got me, Hugh, and Steven all there to a yes in the same moment. It all felt like it wasn’t quite enough to promise a new story and a new movie. I have to tell you, I had a weird experience watching it tonight because on one hand it felt really good to revisit an old friend, but it also weirdly cemented my conviction that I just shouldn’t make a sequel unless I’m sure it will be better."

And while there may not be a new "Real Steel" movie coming out soon, Levy did describe a deleted scene from the first film that was new to the audience. Levy said that when the film came out, fans noticed Atom move on his own and wondered if that meant he had consciousness. Levy initially told fans that the answer was "whatever you want to decide for yourself." It turns out, there's a definitve answer: "[W]hen we shot that scene, he absolutely moved. He recognizes himself. There was a whole moment -- I think it’s okay to say all this now that it’s been five years -- but there’s a moment where, before the fifth round of the final fight, they’re like, 'We’re throwin’ in the towel, it’s over,' and Max and Charlie are arguing, and we see Atom in the background raise his finger and give like a 'one more time' gesture. In script, you’re like, 'That’s fucking awesome! That’s gonna be goosebumps! It confirms the sentient nature of Atom.' But when we put the movie together, it felt like, as warm-hearted as the movie was, that was one degree too fairy tale for that movie."

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Brett White (3588 Articles Published)

Brett White is a comedy writer and a proud Southern man -- you know, proud of all the good stuff (Dolly Parton, Blanche Devereaux and Goo Goo Clusters). A lifelong obsession with comics led him to Wizard Magazine in 2008 and then to writing gigs for The Robot's Voice,, and MTV's Splash Page where he served as managing editor. Brett served as a writer and Assistant Editor for CBR from 2011 to 2017, where he wrote a lot about the X-Men, Foggy Nelson, and plenty of gay stuff. Brett is currently a reporter/producer for Decider, where he tries to find reasons to write about Bob Newhart (and also the X-Men). His passion for sitcoms is on full display in the weekly podcast Must Have Seen TV.

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