Director Shawn Levy Talks About the Story of Real Steel; New Photos Revealed
12.10.10 by Ryan
The trailer for DreamWorks' Real Steel debuted yesterday, earlier than expected, giving the first glimpse at a story set in a near-future universe where a former boxer (Hugh Jackman) and his estranged son (Dakota Goyo) find a robot in a junk pile and decide to train it to enter the Robot Boxing circuit. While the battling robots are clearly the big draw of Real Steel, director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) told Empire that what drew him to the movie was the emotional aspects of the story.
If what you're looking for is a crazy, f*****g badass, robot boxing movie, hopefully the movie has the goods to be enjoyable on that level. But I would argue that even in the most jaded cinephile heart, there beats a humanity and a desire to have an escapist emotional experience at the movies. So the goal here, and we've had some early, small screenings, is that you come in thinking you're going to see a cool robot boxing movie, you don't expect this emotional underdog, father/son movie. And it's not one that's soft and overly sentimental, but hopefully it's one that's poignant.
Levy says it's the dramatic side of Real Steel that made 3-D unnecessary for the story.
If the movie was 80% robot boxing, I probably would have pushed harder for 3D, but because it's really more like 30% robo-boxing and 70% drama. Not unlike the first Rocky, which is 20% boxing, 80% that underdog redemption story.
On the advice of executive producer Steven Spielberg,
Levy decided to use real practical robots built by Legacy Effects which would be made more real by adding visual effects later in post-production.
He advocated strongly for it the very first time we sat down about this movie, and what I came to realize is, it really did two things that were critical: It really, really affects performance. There is a reality to the way the actors play the scenes, given that there is a real, animatronic, moving robot in the room. So the level of nuance and realism in performance was higher because we built the real ones, and it keeps the visual effects guys honest.
For those looking to see more of what Levy has done with Real Steel, SlashFilm has a gallery of new photos, one of which can be seen below and the others can be seen here.
Real Steel opens October 7, 2011, and co-stars Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie, Hope Davis, and James Rebhorn.