Real Steel

Oct. 09, 2011 | 5:34 a.m.

‘Real Steel’ director looks at film’s ‘Twilight Zone’ origins

Real Steel (featured image)
“Real Steel,” the Hugh Jackman-starring robot-boxing movie out in theaters this weekend, owes a lot to its first incarnation — as a sci-fi short story by Richard Matheson that the author helped adapt into a  1963 “Twilight Zone” episode, the film’s director said. Shawn Levy and Evangeline Lilly talked about the origins of the film during Monday’s early IMAX screening, hosted by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher. “It’s been in development for eight, nine years, and frankly, in that period, ‘Transformers’ got made, so that made a certain tonality kind of off limits because it had been done,” Levy said. Hear more about “Real Steel’s” back story in the video above, and be sure to check out the previous installments of the interview talking about Jackman’s generosity as an actor, the decision to film with actual remote-controlled robots, the casting of young […]
Oct. 08, 2011 | 5:02 a.m.

‘Real Steel’ director: Dakota Goyo brought ‘authenticity’

'Real Steel' (featured image)
“Real Steel” actor Dakota Goyo, 12, was selected from “hundreds of boys” for the role of Max because of his “authenticity,” director Shawn Levy told the audience at Monday’s early IMAX screening of the film. “We did know that even if the rest of us did everything right, if the kid isn’t great, the movie can’t be great,” Levy said at the Los Angeles screening, hosted by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher. “I saw a lot of really talented kids, but I knew this part needed something different or more. It’s what Ricky Schroder had in ‘The Champ.’ It’s what Justin Henry had in ‘Kramer vs. Kramer,’ Henry Thomas had in ‘E.T.’ It’s what Spielberg calls an authenticity. It’s separate from acting.” Watch the video above to find out more about Goyo’s casting and performance, and be sure to check out […]
Oct. 07, 2011 | 3:35 p.m.

‘Real Steel’ director: Remote-control robots made scenes ‘magic’

Real Steel (featured image)
In an era when most movie effects are computer-generated, creating real, remote-controlled robots was “the most central decision” for “Real Steel,” director Shawn Levy told the audience at Monday’s early IMAX screening of the film. “In this moment, you can do everything digitally, so most movies just do everything digitally,” Levy said at the screening, hosted by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher. “It’s quicker. It’s often cheaper. So this notion of building real, full-scale, remote-controlled robots is kind of heresy now because it’s unnecessary. But it’s not unnecessary if you consider that you are going to get a visual reality and a reality to the performances that is incomparable.” Evangeline Lilly, who starred opposite Hugh Jackman in the robot-boxing film, which opens this weekend, praised Levy and the filmmaking team, saying the experience of acting with a real robot was considerably […]
Oct. 06, 2011 | 11:14 a.m.

‘Real Steel’ director: Hugh Jackman offered warmth amid the metal

Hugh Jackman (featured image)
One of the biggest challenges Hugh Jackman faced while filming “Real Steel” was putting aside his good nature to portray someone who behaves despicably, the film’s director Shawn Levy said at an early IMAX screening. “Truly, in any profession or category, he is maybe the actual nicest guy in the world, Levy told the audience at Monday’s screening, hosted by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher. “That was a source of great discomfort for him, especially in the scenes where it was him and Dakota [Goyo, his on-screen son,] and I would push him to be really kind of hard toward this kid.” Both Levy and Jackman’s “Real Steel” co-star Evangeline Lilly praised the actor’s warmth, kindness and generosity. “When you’re acting, a lot of it is very selfish, and a lot of the time, it’s every man for himself,” Lilly said. […]
Oct. 06, 2011 | 5:28 a.m.

Hugh Jackman sees ‘Real Steel’ as father-son story

Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo (featured image)
Hollywood has called on Hugh Jackman to portray a feral mutant superhero, a vampire hunter, a singing penguin and a dapper cartoon rodent, so you would think his latest project, “Real Steel,” which opens Friday, would be a cinch — how hard could it be to channel a former boxer on the ropes in his personal life? But according to director Shawn Levy, the hard-luck protagonist Charlie Kenton took the actor into a unexpectedly challenging corner: It demanded he be casually cruel to his on-screen son, Max, played by the cherub-faced 12-year-old Dakota Goyo. “After certain takes, Hugh would come up to me, concerned, asking ‘Are you sure I’m not being too harsh to this boy?’” Levy said. “I would assure him that … his fundamental kindness came through and, second, if we don’t set this character up as an […]
Oct. 05, 2011 | 3:01 p.m.

Evangeline Lilly: ‘Real Steel’ gave me goosebumps and tears [video]

Evangeline Lilly (featured image)
The billboards and posters for “Real Steel” may focus on the robot boxers, but the film’s director, Shawn Levy, and actress Evangeline Lilly say the movie’s real mettle has less to do with robots than with the relationship between a father and son. “If it was going to be unique, if you’re going to make a robot movie in 2011… it had to be different, and it had to be about more than its machines and more than its action. I always felt that this thing was gonna sink or swim on the basis of its heart,” Levy told the audience at Monday night’s free IMAX screening of the film, hosted by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher. Lilly, who stars opposite Hugh Jackman in the film, which hits theaters Friday, said that she was at first skeptical when she read the […]
Sept. 22, 2011 | 7:58 a.m.

‘Real Steel’: See an early (and free) IMAX screening Oct. 3

real steel
“Real Steel” arrives in theaters Oct. 7 but our readers can see it early and see it for free as part of the Hero Complex IMAX screening series. Our screening of “Real Steel” — which stars Hugh Jackman in a futuristic tale that is adrenaline-intense but also surprisingly heartfelt – is at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 at Universal Citywalk Stadium 19. Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher will interview director Shawn Levy on stage after the film. You can find all of the details and sign up right here. To find out first about our special events and other films that will be featured in the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series, follow us on Twitter: @LATherocomplex – Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED Has Shawn Levy made a robot film with heart? ‘Real Steel’: MMA with robots LaBeouf on Megan Fox leaving […]
Sept. 01, 2011 | 12:22 p.m.

‘Real Steel’: MMA with robots?

He's the undefeated, reigning champion of the WRB, and he lives up to his thunderous name. He is pristine power — a 1,300-pound frame of steel and carbon fiber. Levy adds: “The only fully autonomous robot in the WRB, Zeus was funded by a family of Russian oligarchs, the Lemkovas, and designed by the same former boy wonder who created Noisy Boy, Tak Mashido.” (DreamWorks II)
This is a big year for gearbox souls — this happens to be the 90th anniversary of playwright Karel Capek’s “R.U.R.,” which introduced the term “robot” to the public imagination when it premiered in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1921. No one appreciates the word more than Hollywood, which has given us memorable mechanical people in films as diverse as “Metropolis,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Star Wars,” “The Terminator,” “Transformers” and “WALL-E,” to name just a hard-wired few. Next up on the assembly line — the Oct. 7 release “Real Steel.” The sci-fi movie pairs leading man Hugh Jackman with “Night at the Museum” director Shawn Levy, but the real stars are the gleaming gladiators who bash each other to bits and bolts in prize fights that have become a national obsession in the film’s version of near-future America. The […]
July 21, 2011 | 1:47 p.m.

Comic-Con 2011: Hugh Jackman talks ‘Real Steel,’ ‘Wolverine 2′

Hugh Jackman answers questions from the crowd at a Comic-Con "Real Steel" event Thursday July 21, 2011. (Noelene Clark/Los Angeles Times)
“Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con on Thursday  morning to promote his robot boxing movie “Real Steel,” answering questions and bestowing swag upon a cheering crowd. In the film, Jackman plays a down-and-out former boxer 10 years in the future when the sport is no longer done by humans, but rather 2,000-pound robot gladiators, two of which Jackman showed off to the crowd at the event. “The world of human boxing is being superceded by robots who box,” Jackman said. “They’re badass. They’re unbelieveable. They’re great. But the reason I love the story was the human element of it. It’s a father-son relationship.” Jackman said his character, Charlie Kenton, goes on an emotional journey and compared “Real Steel” to classic sports movies. “His son turns up on his doorstep, and the two of them go on this great […]
March 14, 2011 | 4:00 p.m.

‘Real Steel’ ARG gets in the ring

Real Steel Jackman Levy
It’s such a fun time to be a movie fan if you happen to enjoy ARGs, puzzles, stunts and elaborate marketing campaigns that lead toward a film’s opening weekend like tasty bread crumbs in the forest-floor of digital pop culture. Here’s one now reaching crouton level:  Since February there has been a “coming soon” site on WRB.com with a shiny metal logo for a league sport called World Robot Boxing floating between two steel cables. If you Googled the term you’d quickly find articles and references to the upcoming Shawn Levy film “Real Steel,” which Hero Complex readers already know has the look of a film that might surprise people. This past weekend at the big gamer gathering called PAX East, attendees found some die-cut, paper gizmos that look like the remote controllers used in the trailer for the film. On the flip side of those […]
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