When one thinks of the successes of Hugh Jackman, flashes of snikt snikt Wolverine blades or those incredible pipes out of Les Miserables come to mind. But the Australian A-Lister still holds a special place in his heart for Charlie Kenton, the robot boxing promoter (or boxing robot promoter?) at the center of 2011's Real Steel. It turns out, Jackman is still eying a comeback for this character.
Word of Jackman's interest comes from Real Steel director Shawn Levy. While promoting his latest, This Is Where I Leave You, at the Toronto International Film Festival, Levy spoke to Coming Soon about the possibility of a Real Steel sequel. Levy not only revealed that Hugh Jackman is open to reprising the role that had him playing with life-size Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, but also that a sequel has been in the works under the radar for some time.
"We have been quietly developing a sequel to Real Steel for three and a half years. We've come up with some great scripts, but Hugh and I would only make it if the plot feels fresh, but also the character journeys feel fresh. And we've found both, but never at the same time. It's ongoing."
Real Steel got a warm reception from critics when it hit in October of 2011. Our own Josh Tyler wrote in his review, "When director Shawn Levy’s robots step into the ring, there’s something almost magical about it. Any time there’s a robot on screen, this movie works. It has energy, it has excitement, it has your attention."
Likewise, audiences both foreign and domestic took to Jackman's battle bot adventure. Real Steel raked in more than $299 million worldwide. Still, Levy realizes that sequel's have a shelf life. He goes on:
"I know the clock is ticking... Hugh and I love that movie so if we can crack it, we'll make it. But I have this sense that we better make that happen soon or frankly, the audience may not be there in the same way. So we shall see."
Levy's This Is Where I Leave You opens September 19th. Amid promotional duties for the dramedy based on the Jonathan Tropper novel, Shawn Levy will be in the midst of post-production on the recently wrapped Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which will hit theaters on December 19th. Beyond that, it's possible he could buckle down for Real Steel 2. That is, if Jackman can carve out time between Pan and the ever-expanding X-Men franchise.
Would you see Real Steel 2?