Shawn Levy Offers 'Real Steel' Sequel Update, Wants To Explore Atom's Origin

Real Steel isn't Shawn Levy's most successful film at the box office, but it is easily the most enjoyable film he's directed. Before the Steven Spielberg-produced movie even opened in theaters, Levy started talking about a sequel, which he, Hugh Jackman, and Evangeline Lilly were expected to return for. The father-son fighting robots story performed well overseas, but it wasn't a big hit in the States. Five years since the movie hit theaters, Levy is still considering a sequel.

Below, Shawn Levy discusses the Real Steel sequel.

The holdup on the sequel? Cracking the story. Collider recently hosted a screening and Q & A for Real Steel, where they asked Shawn Levy for an update on another Real Steel movie. Levy, who still wants to make the sequel, doesn't want to tell the same story twice:

The most frequent tweet I get is about the sequel to Real Steel. I wish I had a conclusive answer. Here's the truth: We started developing a sequel like six months before the movie came out. We knew as soon as we started previewing this movie and it was getting mid to high 90s at every test screening. It happens really rarely, but the movie had something that audiences responded to and so we started coming up with ideas for the sequel. The simple truth, the most concise truth I can express, is that it proved, and it has proven, really hard to come up with a sequel that doesn't feel like a re-hash of the first movie. Yeah, people wanted to see Atom beat Zeus, I would love to see Atom beat Zeus, but you don't want to retell the story of kind of an alienation between Charlie and Max because that is really the plot of the first movie.

Back in 2012, Levy got a script for Real Steel 2. He said that script was aimed directly at the Real Steel fans responsible for the movie's strong home video and toy sales. Whatever the story of that script was, it clearly needed work in Levy's eyes. As the director continues to search for a story, he still has one idea he'd like to explore in a sequel:

One area that I still would love to explore is that notion of how was Atom built? What is it about his design that might have embedded some artificial or organic intelligence and consciousness, such that he is self-aware to some extent? So all I'll say is, we've attempted it a few times with a number of writers, and no draft got me, Hugh, and Steven all there to a yes in the same moment. It all felt like it wasn't quite enough to promise a new story and a new movie. I have to tell you, I had a weird experience watching it tonight because on one hand it felt really good to revisit an old friend, but it also weirdly cemented my conviction that I just shouldn't make a sequel unless I'm sure it will be better.

Two years ago, Levy said he knew the clock was ticking on a sequel. It's already been five years since Real Steel hit theaters, so Levy and all involved wouldn't exactly be striking while the iron is hot. Say, seven or eight years later, would audiences still be interested in this world and these characters? We'll see if we ever find out, but whether a sequel ever happens or not, at least fans will always have the first Real Steel, a fun and sincere tip of the hat to Spielberg and Amblin.