According to Variety, DreamWorks has greenlit the robot boxing movie Real Steel with Aussie A-lister and Wolverine actor, Hugh Jackman, confirmed to star. We reported on Jackman's possible involvement with Real Steel back in October, but this is the first official confirmation of his role. The sci-fi film will feature Jackman as a retired boxer who reconnects with his estranged son after he becomes a promoter for a robot boxing league. The film is based on a short story by sci-fi author Richard Matheson, and has already seen a small screen adaptation via a 1963 Twilight Zone episode.
Besides Jackman's casting, there were a number of interesting tidbits in the Variety article. For instance, Real Steel will be DreamWorks' first feature film since the company was refinanced by Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider. Because it will be the first post-Paramount DreamWorks production, there is sure to be an additional layer of scrutiny over the movie.
The second interesting tidbit in the Variety article was Real Steel's budget. According to "insiders," Real Steel is expected to cost around $80 million. While $80 million is certainly nothing to sneeze at, it's way, way, way less than recent comparable sci-fi/action movies such as Transformers and G.I. Joe. When you consider that the budget on James Cameron's Avatar is rumored to be in the neighborhood of $500 million, it really makes $80 million seem kind of paltry. I suppose it provides a clue to the type of movie that Real Steel will be: less of a Transformers and more of a Rocky-for-robots.
What do you think of Real Steel? Does the story sound appealing? Can it be made for only $80 million?
Real Steel is being directed by Shawn Levy. The film is expected to begin production in June.