Hugh Jackman in the ring for Real Steel | The Fan Carpet

Hugh Jackman in the ring for Real Steel

24 November 2009

Hugh Jackman has signed on to play a former boxer who launches a new career as a promoter of battling robots in Real Steel. Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks is backing the project, which is being billed as an $80m (£48.25m) futuristic play on the Rocky films. Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy will take charge of the cameras.

In the film, Jackman's character is forced to leave a life in the ring when robots replace human fighters as the biggest draw. He stumbles upon a discarded machine that always seems to win, and sets about using it to try and revive his fortunes, along the way bonding with an 11-year-old son he has only just met.

Despite Real Steel's similarities to the oeuvre of Michael Bay, Levy described the movie as "more Rocky than Transformers". He said: "These are human-built, human-scale fighting machines. They are built for human spectacle. People in this movie have gotten bored with human carnage and human violence. So in the quest for more, more, more, this sport has evolved to this."

The project is DreamWorks' first since securing financing of $825m (£498m) this summer, largely through India's Reliance Big Entertainment.

It was one of the 17 projects that Spielberg and his team took on following the company's split with Paramount last year. DreamWorks recently entered into a new deal with Disney, which will distribute all its films for the next seven years.

Real Steel is based on a short story by Richard Matheson, whose novel I Am Legend formed the basis of a successful 2007 outing for Will Smith, which took $585m (£352m) at the worldwide box office. Production starts in June.

Source: Guardian Online

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