How Possible Is A Real Steel Sequel With Hugh Jackman? The Director Weighs In

Hugh Jackman shouts during a match in Real Steel.
(Image credit: Dreamworks/Touchstone)

Cult classics can get their due, depending on if the conditions are right and if the heart is still in the game. Real Steel director Shawn Levy has always proven the second part of that equation to be true, especially in the light of that very film’s meteoric Netflix success keeping its memory alive. With the recent announcement of a Disney+ series in development, the next question that’s probably on everyone’s minds is just how possible is it that Hugh Jackman could return for the Real Steel series or even a sequel?

Mr. Levy certainly has some thoughts up his sleeve, and he shared some of them with me last night as part of the reception for Netflix’s The Adam Project. Showing the completed film for the first time to an audience, the atmosphere was electric after the Ryan Reynolds-starring time travel movie made its debut. On behalf of CinemaBlend, as well as the Real Steel fandom, I had to ask if the return of Hugh Jackman’s Charlie Kenton might be in the cards. Here’s what Shawn Levy told me: 

That is a big question mark. Hugh loves... ah, you've got me on the spot! I don't know that Hugh will be in the series, but it's a possibility, as is the possibility of a sequel.

That’s right, friends: while the 2011 fan favorite is actively developing a television follow-up, there’s also a potential for a cinematic resurgence to come into play. It isn’t terribly surprising, since due to the Netflix success of that first film’s pandemic streaming run, there was some messaging with Hugh Jackman about what could come next. However, once the Disney+ project was announced, most (myself included) probably thought that the film project was being converted into a longform series.  

It wouldn’t have been a horrible fate, as more Real Steel is always welcome, so long as the warmth and spirit of that first movie is still present. Should Hugh Jackman be able to return for the series, that would definitely pre-install that component from day one, as his performance of Charlie helps ground the sci-fi adaptation of author Richard Matheson’s Steel. As you can see in the video containing the answer to these questions, you can see that the same spark that’s previously guided Shawn Levy is still burning bright. 

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However, if Mr. Jackman can’t find time in his schedule to tapdance his way into the robo-boxing series, it looks like we shouldn’t lose hope just yet. As we saw with last year’s announcement of the Rock‘em Sock‘em Robots movie with Vin Diesel, fans are clamoring even harder for Real Steel 2 to happen. With that possibility firmly in Shawn Levy’s head, as well as the minds of his loyal fanbase, that fighting chance lives on. 

In the world of the past, present and future, The Adam Project is gearing up for its big debut, exclusively on Netflix, March 11th. Thanks to last night’s first screening of the completed film, you can now read the first reactions from that event. Of course, the 2022 movie releases don’t stop there, as you can take a look at what the entire year has to offer. If there's anything to be taken from this latest adventure, it's that the future is a pretty important thing to consider. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.