Usually when Vin Diesel’s name is mentioned, action movies come to find. From his years of playing Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious movies to bringing the Valiant Comics character Bloodshot to life, Diesel is a man who knows his way around cinematic situations involving fighting, explosions and all sorts of adrenaline-filled situations. So learning that he’s starring in a movie based on the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game is about par for the course, honestly.
No doubt most of you reading have played the original Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots game, where two players operate robot boxers and try to knock off their opponent’s head. Now that Mattel game is getting the live-action movie treatment over at Universal Pictures, with the story following a father (Vin Diesel) and son who form an unlikely bond with an advanced war machine. There’s no word yet on who will play the son, but here’s what Diesel had to say about his forthcoming collaboration with Mattel (via Variety):
To take the classic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game, with Mattel as my partner, and align it with the kind of world-building, franchise-making success we have had with Universal, is truly exciting.
On the one hand, seeing Vin Diesel get into shenanigans with a giant robot sounds entertaining at the very least. On the other hand, the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em movie’s premise sounds a lot like 2011’s Real Steel, right? That Hugh Jackman-led feature followed a father and son in an alternate 2020 where robot boxing is all the rage, and the duo rebuild a discarded robot they believe can become the world champion. Since the chances of Real Steel 2 happening are still quite slim (although not downright impossible), this Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em movie will have to fill the void for anyone who’s still hoping for that sequel.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em is just one of many Mattel-related movies on the way, with others including Barbie, Uno, Wishbone and Barney, the latter of which Judas and the Black Messiah’s Daniel Kaluuya is working on. It's also worth noting that Universal Pictures is also home to the Fast & Furious franchise, so Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em will be in good company. Diesel is producing the project with Universal through his One Race Films production company, and Rampage’s Ryan Engle is writing the screenplay.
Naturally it can be expected that the majority of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em’s action will revolve around giant robots pummeling each other, but it remains to be seen if in this cinematic world, the humans are directly operating them (either from afar or within the robots themselves), or if these robots will have some degree of self-autonomy. In any case, I’m sure there will be a few opportunities for Vin Diesel’s character to throw at least a few punches on his own. What I’m most curious about now is who will play the character that’s operating the robot Diesel’s own robot will face off against as its chief opponent.