Where The Real Steel Franchise Is Currently, And Why It’s Taken So Long For The Disney+ Series To Move Forward

Dakota Goyo and Hugh Jackman cheering on the side of the ring in Real Steel.
(Image credit: Dreamworks Pictures)

Keeping a franchise alive after years without a new movie release isn’t easy. Dedicated fans are a must when it comes to fueling the fires for the future on something like director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel. Sure enough, over a decade later the Hugh Jackman starring sci-fi film has people wanting more, and Levy has recently cleared up where the saga of Charlie and Max Kenton, along with their robot boxer Atom, currently stands. 

Admittedly, it’s been a while since it was announced that Disney+ was interested in a Real Steel series. But that’s actually by design, and I learned that while interviewing Shawn Levy on the press day for Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again. Walking through the reason it’s taken so long to move forward with this idea, Levy provided this update to CinemaBlend: 

Let me be real clear: we are not developing a Real Steel feature sequel right now. The Real Steel TV series for Disney+ is in very active development. … Like Night at the Museum, I’m weirdly protective of these franchises that I’ve created. So just as it took a lot of years to make the next Night at the Museum movie, it took a lot of pitches, a lot of ideas that I rejected, to get to a take I’m now really excited about. So Real Steel is very much in active development now at Disney+, and as you said Deadpool 3 is next.

Whether or not the Real Steel series will incorporate the work that writer John Gatins did on a potential sequel back in 2011 is yet to be seen. Though judging by the remarks made by Levy above, the answer is more than likely no. In fact, it sounds like the plot of the project is still being assembled, more than likely from a kernel of an idea sitting at the center.

This new information homes in the focus of where Real Steel is going next rather keenly. Previously, the director noted that the possibility of a sequel film was still on the table, with the potential involvement of Hugh Jackman. However, that potential is at the very least on the back burner, with the Disney+ series being the true priority. Right after Deadpool 3, of course, which we know re-teams Levy with Jackman and Free Guy/The Adam Project star Ryan Reynolds.

“Priority” is a key word when discussing both this robot boxing cult hit, as well as the Night at the Museum series. While Levy has a pretty full dance card, and Deadpool 3 is the next movie in that lineup, the personal touch is still something the director visits upon his franchises. Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again is a firm example of such focus, as even the handling of Robin Williams’ fan favorite character Theodore Roosevelt shows just how much Shawn Levy cares about the projects he’s shepherded.

This latest news doesn’t suggest when we’ll be seeing the Real Steel series head into production. However, it does keep hope alive through the realization that Levy and his team are still very much tinkering in the garage with a brand new creature of entertainment. We’ll have to keep an eye on how things progress from this point out, but so far, it looks like whenever this project gets off the ground, it’ll be well worth the wait.

Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again is currently streaming, in addition to several other entries in the series, for Disney+ subscription holders. Meanwhile, if you want to revisit Real Steel, you’ll need an HBO Max subscription to watch that particular title. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.