Last night I saw Real Steel, and while I’m currently embargoed from reviewing it I suspect it’s okay to say that I would be very, very happy to return to the terrific science fiction world created in the film.* It turns out that director Shawn Levy is ready to come back as well. Talking at the UK premiere last night Levy revealed some of his thoughts on where a Real Steel II could go.
[W]e went very anthropomorphic in both the design and the movement of the robots in this movie, I think we can really blow that out. The class warfare between underworld and WRB [World Robot Boxing], that’s something that seems rich. The evolution of this father and son’s relationship, and Hugh’s relationship with Evangeline [Lilly].
That’s from Bleeding Cool, who had a reporter at the premiere.
The father/son stuff and the Evangeline Lilly stuff is all no-duh crap, but it’s the class warfare thing I like a lot. Real Steel has a Rocky vibe in a lot of (obvious) ways, not the least of which is the inherent class issue at its core. Hugh Jackman and his son take their boxing robot through the many layers of class structure that make up robot boxing, from a scifi version of bear baiting through illegal fights in abandoned zoos through underground smokers to the big time arena fights, and the film really spends time establishing the reality of each of those worlds. It feels ripe for re-exploration. Honestly, Rocky II, where Rocky goes from working class lug to a guy who has no idea how to be rich and famous, feels like a good template for Real Steel II.
* If you live long enough you will end up seeing everything. Including a Shawn Levy film you like.