Disney+ is reportedly in the early stages of development on a Real Steel television series adaptation. According to Variety, the show would be based on the feature film of the same name, which itself was based on author Richard Matheson's short story "Steel." Hugh Jackman starred as Charlie Kenton in the Real Steel movie that was released in 2011, where he played a former boxer who, along with his son, take an abandoned fighting robot, fixed it up, and put it in competitive boxing tournaments.
Real Steel director Shawn Levy of 21 Laps is also reportedly attached as an executive producer. Other executive producers include Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke of Compari Entertainment, and Jacqueline Levine, Susan Montford, and Don Murphy of Angry Films. 20th Television will produce the series.
Joining Jackman in the Real Steel film cast were Dakota Goyo as Max Kenton, Evangeline Lilly as Bailey Tallet, Anthony Mackie as Finn, Olga Fonda as Farra Lemkova, and Karl Yune as Tak Mashido. While not being a huge box office hit, it became a worldwide hit grossing just under $300 million, when it's budget was reportedly around $110 million.
Sequel talks began to pop up in 2011, with Levy discussing the possibility of having Hugh Jackman return. "It has been in my mind and in conversation a lot lately," Levy told Inverse. "Maybe because of the fact that when Netflix started streaming it during the lockdown, it became one of their top trending and most-viewed titles. Which led to Hugh and I talking again about, 'What is this love for Real Steel?' Kind of this realization that, 'Well wait, we love it that much too.' We've always loved it that much too. It's one of those 'never say never', even though it feels like the clock has run out on that window of opportunity. It feels like that fan love and that audience hasn't gone away. So, who knows?"
This past October marked the 10 year anniversary of Real Steel, and Evangeline Lilly spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about a potential sequel from Levy.
"Actually, we just spoke recently," Lilly said of Levy. "Today, October 7th, is the ten year anniversary of Real Steel. So Entertainment Weekly is actually running a tribute to it today, and they interviewed Shawn, Hugh [Jackman], Anthony Mackie and Dakota Goyo. So in between interviews today, I was trying to watch the half-hour special that they did. Real Steel is one of my favorite films I've ever been a part of. I thought there ought to have been a sequel because the film was so good and it was so beloved. But I know that the reason there wasn't was because the film was marketed as this testosterone-driven, rah-rah, beat-him-up kind of macho movie for boys between the ages of 18 and 35. But in actuality, it was a beautiful, heartfelt father-son redemption story for the family to watch together. And families didn't find the film until after it had gone to DVD at that point in time, and then streaming. So it wasn't marketed to them, but had it been marketed to families, it would have most certainly had a sequel. When I go and do a comic con, so many people in my lineup will say that Real Steel is their favorite. It's become a real treasure. People love the film and I'm so happy because it is, like I said, one of my favorite films that I've ever done. Because it's been so long, I don't know now if I think a sequel would be a beautiful thing or if it would kind of tarnish the purity of what we made back then. It's been ten years, but I really trust Shawn. I think he's an amazing director, and he's one of my favorite directors I've ever worked with. So if Shawn is doing something, I'm sure it's going to be incredible."
Are you excited to hear about a Real Steel TV show possibly heading to Disney+? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!