rock-em-sock-em-robots

Lest you thought that Inception was going to change things overnight, or that studio execs really are going to start buying original ideas in droves, here comes news of a Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots movie to prove that this remains the summer of our cinematic discontent.

Pajiba reports that Mattel and Mendeville Films are working with director Wolfgang Petersen to develop a film based on Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots, the ’60s robot boxing toy that already seems like the inspiration for the movie Real Steel. There’s not much else to go on here, though Pajiba’s report says that Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Ultraviolet, Salt) may also be set to write. May.

The development of this movie isn’t much of a surprise, given that we know Mattel is aggressively trying to turn just about every property it owns into a movie, and is even developing new toys specifically to generate TV shows and films.

But given that Shawn Levy is already in production on Real Steel, with Hugh Jackman in the lead, you’d think that Mattel had been, um, beaten to the punch on this one. How many robot boxing movies do we need? (At one point I would have said ‘as many as possible,’ but now I’m not so sure.)

And while Wolfgang Petersen is hardly the worst director I can think of to be attached to this, his track record is spotty, and of late his stuff has been less impressive. He’s only made three films in the last decade, and while Troy has moments I don’t think I’ll ever get the jones to watch that or The Perfect Storm, much less Poseidon. Thanks to films like Das Boot and In the Line of Fire I always have positive sentiment attached to his name, but then I think about his recent track record and that fades.

But this is just a development situation right now. The film could go away altogether or, in a more extreme circumstance, lead a writer to turn in a script with some good ideas. I’m not very hopeful about that, but you never know.

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