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D’Works bets on robot boxing spec ‘Steel’

Zemeckis will produce Gilroy script

Dan Gilroy has earned an $850,000 payday for his futuristic robot boxing spec “Real Steel,” which DreamWorks bought for Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers to produce.

Scribe also recently wrote “Hot Spot,” an action drama for DreamWorks based on an original idea by studio co-topper and helmer Steven Spielberg.

Project takes place in the near future where 2,000-pound robots that resemble humans battle it out in the boxing ring. Story revolves around a promoter who takes his fighter to the bot boxing championships.

ImageMovers, which is based at DreamWorks, will produce the pic, with company principals Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey shepherding the project and Bennett Schneir helping develop it. Company currently is producing two pics at Warner Bros.: the f/x-heavy “Polar Express,” starring Tom Hanks, and the Ridley Scott-helmed “Matchstick Men.”

DreamWorks exec Adam Goodman will oversee development of “Real Steel” for the studio.

Gilroy, who is repped by CAA, also penned the actioner “Dreadnought” for Columbia Pictures. That project concerns the accidental downing of a civilian jetliner over the Atlantic by the Navy’s most sophisticated ship.

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