Shawn Levy Prepares to Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em with Robot Boxing Movie


As we’ve been told more than a few times this week, Steven Spielberg has great passion for a lot of things. He’s still interested in shooting Lincoln, still looking for someone to imagine Harvey and he’s working on a story for Indiana Jones 5. Not to mention the fact that he’s been taking meeting with Michael Bay about Transformers 3. The man is all over the place. And his passion for making 1,000 movies in the next ten years just will not go away. But friends, it might be getting out of control this time.

According to a report at Heat Vision, Spielberg’s passion for a Rock ’Em Sock ’Em robot-style movie has lead Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy to the project. Levy will fill a director’s chair vacated by Peter Berg, who recently signed a two picture deal with Universal this week that includes the long-awaited Battleship adaptation.

This new Dreamworks project, entitled Real Steel, will follow the story of a father and his estranged son who enter the world of robotic boxing. In this futuristic world, human boxing has been outlawed and replaced by machine-on-machine bouts.

If we face the facts of life for a moment, we’ll realize that this concept is quite cool. The prospect of Shawn Levy directing doesn’t bother me so much, as he’s done solid work before. He’s clearly got a knack for family comedies, though, having directed Cheaper By The Dozen, both Night at the Museum films as well as the first Steve Martin led Pink Panther. He’s never really given us (a) action or (b) drama. This will either turn out to be a nice opportunity for him to stretch his legs and surprise us, or another example of a director who should just stick to his strengths and never try anything new. Time will tell. For now, at least according to the following quote, Levy is excited, as is Spielberg:

“Steven’s passion for this project was absolutely infectious and I’m so excited to bring this story to life,” Levy said. “In a movie filled with these mechanical warriors, at its core ‘Real Steel’ is an incredibly human story.”

This is the kind of project that has tentpole release written all over it, if its given the right amount of attention and budget from Dreamworks – however, I won’t be surprised if another studio (I’m looking at you, Universal) corners Mattel and forces them to finally sign on for a Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robots movie to release against Real Steel. Remember the great showdown between Deep Impact and Armageddon in the summer of 1998? Yep, I’m thinking the same thing here – but with boxing robots, not apocalypse-inducing asteroids. Think about it as you spend one minute of your life on the following commercial from back in the day…

What do you think about the pairing of Shawn Levy with Real Steel?

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