Shawn Levy

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

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

“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” 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’

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

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. 05, 2011 | 3:01 p.m.

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

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” 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?

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 […]
March 14, 2011 | 4:00 p.m.

‘Real Steel’ ARG gets in the ring

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 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 […]
Jan. 28, 2011 | 11:56 a.m.

‘Real Steel’: Has Shawn Levy made a robot movie with human heart?

On paper, the film “Real Steel” is about a near-future America in which robot gladiators bash in each other’s mechanical skulls for cheering crowds — it’s a mash-up of NASCAR gearhead passion and Ultimate Fighting Championship blood lust with a dash of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robots. That premise, though, makes the opening scene in the film all the more startling. Instead of  clanging thunder and CG metal mayhem, the story begins on a lonely Heartland highway with the twang of a forlorn guitar. The star of the film, Hugh Jackman, is the picture of world-weary loneliness as he drives a truck to a rural fair amid the wheat fields. He parks and stares through the windshield in silence and the camera lingers, and lingers, and lingers. It’s an unhurried portrait of regret in twilight hues, something you might expect to see in a film like “Crazy Heart” or “Lone Star.” […]
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