Just 35 years ago, a little movie about a down on his luck boxer who turns his fortunes around thanks to pluck, grit and heart came out of nowhere to become one of the most beloved films of all time. But would "Rocky" have spawned all those sequels if it had been about a robot boxer instead?
Apparently the folks behind the new Hugh Jackman action epic "Real Steel" think so, because according to The Playlist, director Shawn Levy is already working on "Real Steel 2" -- and he's not shy about comparing the franchise to "Rocky" even before the first one arrives in theaters.
Hey, you don't become champ by pulling your punches.
"Well, the studio’s faith is very strong," Levy said before drawing comparisons to both his own biggest hit as well as Sylvester Stallone's timeless classic. "Even 'Night at the Museum' didn’t test like this. People were cheering in a movie theater. The last time I remember that happening was in 'Rocky III' with Clubber Lang or even against Drago in 'Rocky IV.' So we got that kind of visceral reaction from audiences and the studio not only took the bullish move of developing a sequel and asking me to sign on but then also didn’t deny it when it leaked in the press. That was a show of confidence that hopefully we will reward.
"I will produce and direct again," he continued. "Hugh’s definitely in and, certainly, I can’t give away too much, but Dakota [Goyo], Evangeline [Lilly] and Hugh are all a big part of the sequel. It is the same characters, the next chapter. It delves into the fallout of the new fame and money that the Kentons are going to have as a result of Zeus-Atom fight. It also delves into something I thought was a cool aspect of the movie that I didn’t have time to get into, which is the class warfare between the underground unsanctioned world of robot boxing and the monetized corporately funded league. The truth is, it’s not unlike the way boxing saw its popularity contested with the rise of a more violent, less rule-bound MMA."
It may not open until Oct. 7, but it looks like "Real Steel" could be a contender for years to come.
Get a little more Jackman in our Men of Fall gallery.