A few weeks ago I couldn't sleep. In order to knock my brain out I decided to watch Real Steel, a movie which had been sitting in my collection gathering dust for over a year. The idea was I'd slowly slip into unconsciousness while watching Hugh Jackman growl out dialogue. However, my plan backfired. I became engrossed in a moving and endearing story of paternal love and massive fighting robots kicking seven shades of steel out of each other.
Even before Real Steel released in 2011, there was talk of director Shawn Levy returning for a sequel. It seems he had a general story mapped out, but as of 2014, we haven't really heard much in the way of progress. Officially - like so many sequel projects - the film is still in development, but the last we heard Levy, and writing partner John Gatins, were having difficulty finding the right script. In order to get excited for the potential sequel, here is everything we know about Real Steel 2.
Before Real Steal had even hit theaters, Levy was explaining a basic storyline for the sequel. He told ScreenRant it would explore the ambiguous origins of Atom as well as the wider robot boxing sport. In particular, he stated Real Steel 2 would explore "the class warfare between the underworld fight-clubs and the sanctioned, monetized WRB, which is at work in this movie but is really a big part of the second."
He also claimed the sequel would feature a more diverse and less anthropomorphic design for the fighting robots. He explained:
Our robots are extremely diverse, but they’re all anthropomorphic. They all look and fight more or less like humans, some of them have two heads, and one of them has a club for a right hand, but I think we can really blow out the design of the robots in the sequel — I’m exited about that.
However, most recently, we heard the original story was being tweaked and a new script was being produced, especially in light of a developing Real Steel fanbase. Levy told Collider:
The question you can and should be asking is how much is that story gonna be tweaked based on what we now know is the fanbase of the franchise. Because what I now know is, yeah maybe teenagers were into Real Steel but not nearly as passionately as kids and their parents. Which is interesting because I’m like ‘the family film guy’ and here I made a movie that doesn’t look like anything else I’ve made, that’s tonally different, and yet we never escape what we are.
In fact, the latest quote from Levy sounded a lot less optimistic than his earlier appraisals of the sequel. He told CraveOnline:
There was something really unique about that movie, and I don’t want to make a second one that’s just different robots fighting. So it has proven much harder than anticipated to crack the script on that [with writer John Gatins]. We have not given up but we are not going to rush it into production. So far we haven’t found a stellar enough draft of this story to make it worth making, but it’s something Hugh and I are still committed to.
That doesn't sound too promising does it? Luckily, it also seems like Levy and Jackman have as much love for the movie as its fans, so hopefully there is still the will and impetus to put it into motion.
Real Steel 2 does have one thing on its side though: Money. The original Real Steel made $300 million off the back of a $100 million budget, which is even more impressive considering the movie wasn't exactly given the same marketing push as some of DreamWorks bigger titles. In the interview with Collider, Levy had this to say about the financial situation:
I’ll just say that—I mean look, $300 million worldwide, that’s a good number for a movie that cost just north of $100 million. The DVD seems to be articulating, the sales of the DVD seems to be speaking to a fanbase that now exists, whether it’s from having seen the feature or being curious and seeking it out on Blu-ray. I’ll just say that those numbers with the box office, with the toy sales, they’ve all got us thinking and they do have us talking. So it’s a maybe with a capital ‘M’ (laughs).
If I've learned one thing from writing about movies, it's that money is the main driving force behind getting any movie made. Hopefully, the studio heads realize that with a bigger marketing budget, and perhaps more toys and merchandising, Real Steel 2 could be a major cash cow.
What do you think? Do you want to see a Real Steel 2? If so, what would you like to see happen? Let us know your ideas below.