We’ve known the basics about Real Steel for a while: Shawn Levy directs the Disney/DreamWorks picture that stars Hugh Jackman as an ex-fighter who reinvents himself as a robot boxing mechanic/coach/promoter when human boxing is outlawed.

Now thanks to a script review, there are more details available about the film. Two warnings: first, some of this might have changed, as the film has been shot and the script draft referenced is not the final version. Second, there could be spoilers within, so if you’d rather wait for the trailer, stop reading now.
io9 has the script review, and I’ll break the new info down into a handful of bullet points; you can check their coverage for a bit more detail.

  • Charlie, Hugh Jackman’s character, was never a champion boxer, and he’s not a champion robo-boxer, either. He exists on an underground circuit, and hopes to become a contender by buying a robot called Noisy Boy.
  • On the flashy mainstream circuit, Colossus dominates, controlled by Tak Mashido. The latter has turned Colossus into a machine that can adapt and evolve during a fight. He destroys up and comer Alexrod, a robot that had been looking like a very promising challenger.
  • Charlie is put into a situation where he has custody of his 11-year old son Max. He doesn’t want the kid, but a family situation arises where he’ll keep his son for a couple months in exchange for cash, after which Max’s aunt and uncle will take him. The cash, meanwhile, will pay for Noisy Boy.
  • (We’d heard that Charlie “discovers a discarded robot that always seems to win.” Is that Noisy Boy, or the defeated Axelrod? Either way, you know a showdown with Colossus is coming.)
  • Charlie and Max end up bonding over boxing, and the two turn into a formidable team. io9 says “Max isn’t cloying or a pushover,” and says ” the characters are engaging enough that you care whether their dreams get crushed, and the robot boxing milieu is colorful and beautifully violent enough to recharge all of the old “sports movie” cliches.”

Previously:

  • The robots used in the movie are practical / real props — 19 real-life animatronic 8-foot-tall robot fighters were created for the production.
  • Spielberg encouraged Levy to use a mix of real and computer generated, so the fighting sequences will involve Motion-capture animation.
  • Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is apparently working as an adviser in the fight sequences.

11-year-old Canadian Dakota Goyo plays Max, described as “a street-smart, tough, charming kid with a hard, un-trusting outer shell which hides a warm enthusiastic spirit beneath. He is a complicated, strong-willed and resourceful boy.” Kevin Durand also co-stars as a Texan promoter of robot boxing. Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)  will play a boxing promoter and Evangeline Lilly (Lost) will portray a friend of Jackman’s character. Hope Davis (About Schmidt), James Rebhorn (Independence Day, The Game) and Olga Fonda (Love Hurts) also have roles.

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