Real Steel arrives in theaters in two weeks, but a sequel is already in the works according to director Shawn Levy. The Playlist recently had the chance to talk with Levy about his current and future projects. Here is what he had to say about the buzz surrounding Real Steel and it's sequel:
“Yes, well, the studio’s faith is very strong. Even ‘Night at the Museum’ didn’t test like this. People were cheering in a movie theater. The last time I remember that happening was in ‘Rocky III’ with Clubber Lang or even against Drago in ‘Rocky IV.’ So we got that kind of visceral reaction from audiences and the studio not only took the bullish move of developing a sequel and asking me to sign on but then also didn’t deny it when it leaked in the press. That was a show of confidence that hopefully we will reward.”
The good news is that the sequel will have continuity. Levy will serve as director and the principal cast members are alreadh contracted to reprise their roles. Levy confirmed his involvement by saying:
“I will produce and direct again, yeah. Hugh’s definitely in and, certainly, I can’t give away too much, but Dakota [Goyo], Evangeline [Lilly] and Hugh [Jackman] are all a big part of the sequel. It is the same characters, the next chapter. It delves into the fallout of the new fame and money that the Kentons are going to have as a result of Zeus-Atom fight. It also delves into something I thought was a cool aspect of the movie that I didn’t have time to get into, which is the class warfare between the underground unsanctioned world of robot boxing and the monetized corporately funded league. The truth is, it’s not unlike the way boxing saw its popularity contested with the rise of a more violent, less rule-bound MMA.”
Levy is pretty busy, he has projecst like Frankenstein and Fantastic Voyage on his plate. Here is what he had to say about the timeline of this sequel as opposed to those projects:
“I don’t think it can. I think ‘Real Steel’ will open strong, but I think it’s going to run stronger. There’s only so much you can tell about this movie in a commercial. The movie reveals itself as a whole. So, in the same way that ‘Date Night’ and ‘Night at the Museum’ did not open massive, it will be the legs. I’ve been lucky with the legs in my movies and I think ‘Real Steel’ can have that. So it wouldn’t be the Monday after opening weekend. It’s gonna be a month. It will be November before we know. But Hugh is on ‘Les Miserables’ at least into early summer and quite possibly right into ‘Wolvy’ after that. I need to wait and see what shakes out with Hugh’s schedule and mine. But we are both committed to the sequel if this movie is a hit.”
Real Steel's budget reporedly topped out at $80 million, which is relatively low for the amount of visual effects. Here is what Levy had to say about how he expects the budget to increase for the sequel:
“Generally that holds true. I’m not complaining. I had enough this time, but I want to blow things out. The robot design in the sequel are less anthropomorphic and a little more trippy.”
The Playlist then asked about the rumors of Levy and James Cameron's disagreement on the need for an A-list star to lead Fantastic Voyage. Here is what he had to say:
“That was an internet rumor. The truth is that it’s a very expensive movie. I have always felt that I want a certain heft to the casting of ‘Fan Voyage.’ Jim hasn’t really weighed in strongly for or against other than to say, ‘Whatever you want to make it work, that’s what we’re going to try to make happen.’ So no one ever said, ‘Let’s make it with nobody.’ It was me who said I want to make it with someone of note. Because I think it’s a familiar title and it’s certainly an unbelievably cool science fiction/action movie underwater in 3D. It’s got a lot going for it. There’s a few actors in my mind that are of the bigger star ilk and I’m leaning that way.”
I am excited to see Real Steel when it's released on October 7th. If it does well at the box office, I would not be surprised if the sequel gets pushed ahead of other projects. What are your thoughts on this news?
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