Filmmaker Shawn Levy has been doing some press recently with a lot of questions to him being about the second season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” which just began production.
Refreshingly Collider has asked him about another project, specifically the rumored sequel to his feel-good robot boxing sci-fi drama “Real Steel” which starred Hugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly.
The film performed well overseas, but it wasn’t a big hit in the States, and sequel talk was put aside. Five years on and following a screening of the first film ahead of the interview, Levy says he’s still considering the idea:
“The most frequent tweet I get is about the sequel to Real Steel. I wish I had a conclusive answer. Here’s the truth: We started developing a sequel like six months before the movie came out. We knew as soon as we started previewing this movie and it was getting mid to high 90s at every test screening. It happens really rarely, but the movie had something that audiences responded to and so we started coming up with ideas for the sequel.
The simple truth, the most concise truth I can express, is that it proved, and it has proven, really hard to come up with a sequel that doesn’t feel like a re-hash of the first movie. Yeah, people wanted to see Atom beat Zeus, I would love to see Atom beat Zeus, but you don’t want to retell the story of kind of an alienation between Charlie and Max because that is really the plot of the first movie.
One area that I still would love to explore is that notion of how was Atom built? What is it about his design that might have embedded some artificial or organic intelligence and consciousness, such that he is self-aware to some extent? So all I’ll say is, we’ve attempted it a few times with a number of writers, and no draft got me, Hugh, and Steven all there to a yes in the same moment. It all felt like it wasn’t quite enough to promise a new story and a new movie.”
Levy also revealed that there was a moment in the original cut of the film where the robot Atom revealed he was sentient by giving a ‘one more time’ gesture. It was cut though as “as warm-hearted as the movie was, that was one degree too fairy tale for that movie.”