Real Steel in November 2011

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Disney’s Touchtone Pictures have officially set a release date for DreamWorks’ first independent movie, Shawn Levy‘s futuristic robot boxing movie Real Steel. The film is set to hit theaters on November 18th 2011. The 23rd James Bond film and Happy Feet 2 are also currently occupying the date, but I would expect that to change.

The second weekend of November is one of the bigger release dates at the box office. Waerner Bros has released three of the Harry Potter films (Goblet of Fire, Sorcerer’s Stone, and Chamber of Secrets) on that spot, earning anywhere from $88-$102 million. Recently, Summit Entertainment has staked claim on the weekend for the first two films in the Twilight series.

The film tells the story of a father and his estranged 11-year-old son who enter the world of robotic boxing. You see, in the future, human boxing has been outlawed, replaced with sports combat between human-trained 2000-pound heavy steel robots. Levy has described the story as “rousing sports movie”. Hugh Jackman will an ex-fighter who has “to reinvent himself when human boxers are replaced by robots” and finds that he has an 11-year-old son. He decides to become a promoter , but “access to sub-standard robot parts hampers his hopes for glory in Robot Boxing, until he discovers a discarded robot that always seems to win.” He bonds with his son over the robot fights.

Levy recently revealed that the robots in the story aren’t based on what we’ve seen in most movies… They’re not like the Terminator, and not cute like Wall-E. “These are human built, human-scale fighting machines. They are built for human spectacle. People in this movie have gotten bored with human carnage and human violence. So in the quest for more, more, more, this sport has evolved to this.”

Real Steel is based on a short story by Richard Matheson, which was made into a Twilight Zone episode featuring Lee Marvin. DreamWorks initially bought the project, scripted by Dan Gilroy (The Fall), in 2005 for a reported $850,000. It has since been rewritten by Leslie Bohem (Taken, Dante’s Peak) and John Gatins (Summer Catch, Dreamer).

Shawn Levy is best know for directing mediocre or bad comedies, the Night at the Museum series, Cheaper By The Dozen, The Pink Panther, Just Married, and Big Fat Liar. This could mean that the family sci-fi actioner might be redeveloped with more of a comic tone. Red Steel will go into production in June 2010 with an $80 million budget.

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