One Of Hugh Jackman’s Old Movies Found New Life On Netflix, And He’s Thrilled

Throughout the streaming landscape of 2020, films old and new found some impressive longevity during the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 pandemic. One such film was Real Steel, the Shawn Levy/Hugh Jackman blockbuster that saw the Reminiscence lead playing an absent father who bonds with his son... over the world of robot boxing. A modest hit back in 2011, the recent love for the film is only a delight for the actor to behold, as he’s absolutely thrilled that it’s playing so well a decade on.

During the press day for writer/director Lisa Joy’s futuristic neo-noir Reminiscence, another tale of the future needed to come up in conversation. The Netflix success Real Steel certainly didn’t feel like an accident, which led me to wondering how Hugh Jackman himself felt about that very occurrence. Approaching the topic of a potential sequel, the conversation turned to the following love letter that Jackman himself has written to the legacy of Real Steel:

By the way, recently quite a lot, we’re being asked about it. Because during the pandemic, apparently, it was very very highly watched, and it was really nice. A huge hit, like 10 years later, Shawn Levy said, ‘Dude, do you see what’s happening out there?’, and I said, ‘No, I don’t see anything.’ But it’s really nice to know that a movie which I really loved at the time, a lot of people come up to me in the street and tell me they love that movie. Lots of dads love it. And so it’s really nice to see it get its due. It was just one of the most fun. Working with Shawn on anything is the best, and we remain really good friends.

I’ll admit, I’m guilty of being one of those people who’s asked about the chances of Real Steel 2. Not only was it brought up in the Reminiscence fueled conversation with Hugh Jackman you can see above, but I also mentioned it with his co-conspirator, Free Guy director Shawn Levy. The response was pretty similar, as even Levy has found himself asked more and more about his Touchstone Pictures film, which was based off of Richard Matheson’s short story “Steel.”

It’s weirdly fitting that both Hugh Jackman and Shawn Levy have a huge push for films made from original IP going on at the moment, and yet questions about one of their most underrated films continue to flood in. One could certainly expect Jackman to be fielding questions about Wolverine and the future of the X-Men, or Levy similarly bombarded with queries into Stranger Things or the Night At The Museum reboot. But if there was ever a Little Engine That Could, it has to be Real Steel.

If it wasn’t for the Netflix success that 2020 brought their film, Jackman and Levy may have had a bit of a respite from the questions. But even in those early moments of Real Steel climbing to #1 on Netflix’s trending charts, Shawn Levy admitted he and Hugh Jackman had started discussing the possibility of Real Steel 2, with Jackman and studio execs as the potential recipients to those message chains.

You don’t always see films like Real Steel enjoy such a healthy second life through the world of home video or streaming. So the fact that this has even happened certainly puts a smile on Hugh Jackman’s face, as he admits to being thrilled that people far and wide still remember Charlie Kenton, his son Max, and their robot Atom so fondly. As we’ve seen in the past, it’s never too early or too late for a sequel to be hatched, so long as the fans demand it loudly enough.

For the moment, Hugh Jackman fans can get their fix of his work with Reminiscence, which is currently available in theaters and on HBO Max. Should you not be a subscriber to that particular streaming library, check out the latest subscription offer that’ll cut you in on all the neo-noir memory fueled action you could hope for. And yes, Real Steel is still currently available to stream on Netflix, in case you need to see some more robot boxing in your life.

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.