×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hugh Jackman boxed in for Levy

Actor in talks to star in 'Steel' for DreamWorks

Hugh Jackman is in talks to star in the Shawn Levy-directed “Real Steel” for DreamWorks.

Project is a “Rocky”-esque tale of a fighter who has to reinvent himself when human boxers are replaced by robots. Jackman is negotiating to play the ex-fighter, who becomes a struggling Robot Boxing promoter and finds a discarded robot that always seems to win. He also discovers he has a 13-year-old son, and they bond as the robot brawls its way toward the top. 

John Gatins is rewriting the current draft with Levy, and the studio is eyeing a May production start.

Angry Films’ Don Murphy and Susan Montford are producing. Exec producers are Steven Spielberg and ImageMovers troika Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey. Levy also is a producer.

Levy, who just completed the Fox comedy “Date Night” with Steve Carell and Tina Fey, came aboard the project several weeks ago. The studio hopes to get underway before next summer.

Popular on Variety

Jackman is starring opposite Daniel Craig in the Broadway play “A Steady Rain,” which opened Tuesday night at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater. Jackman and Craig play lifelong best friends and partners on the Chicago police force. The play finishes its sold-out run Dec. 7. 

“Real Steel,” which was originally scripted by Dan Gilroy, has been rewritten by Les Bohem and then Gatins. 

The premise is based on a short story by Richard Matheson. Pic reps a reunion between Matheson and Spielberg; Matheson wrote Spielberg’s directing debut, the 1971 telepic “Duel,” and was story editor on Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories.”

The early works of Matheson —who is still writing in his 80s — continues to inform current Hollywood films. That includes the Will Smith starrer “I Am Legend,” the upcoming Richard Kelly-directed Cameron Diaz starrer “The Box,” the Imagine/Universal comedy “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” and Summit Entertainment’s “Countdown,” which is based on Matheson’s short story “Death Ship” and was scripted by “Wanted” writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas.

Jackman is repped by WME.

More Film

  • Omerta

    SF Studios Boards 'Omerta' Thriller Films and Series Starring Top Nordic Talent (EXCLUSIVE)

    SF Studios has boarded Nordic distribution and worldwide sales rights to a pair of action-thriller films and a series based on Ilkka Remes’ bestselling novel “6/12,” which will be directed by Antti J. Jokinen (“Flowers of Evil”) and headlined by Jasper Pääkkönen (“BlacKkKlansman,” “Vikings”). Titled “Omerta,” the new Finnish franchise will be produced by the [...]

  • The Champion

    Italy's 'The Champion' Picked Up for France Ahead of De Rome a Paris (EXCLUSIVE)

    French distributor Destiny Films has acquired rights for France to Italian soccer dramedy “The Champion” from Italy’s True Colours in the runup to the De Rome a Paris festival and confab, which kicks off Friday. Produced by Matteo Rovere’s Groenlandia (“Romulus”), “The Champion” turns on the uneasy relationship between a young male soccer star and [...]

  • Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is

    AACTA International Awards Nominations Favor 'The Irishman'

    Netflix’s “The Irishman” garnered the most nominations for the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts International Awards. It picked up six nods, ahead of five for “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” and the four each for “Joker,” “Bombshell,” and “Parasite.” AACTA’s international awards seek to “(honor) the best achievements in film excellence, regardless [...]

  • Prince Dead

    'Purple Rain,' 'Clerks, 'She's Gotta Have It' Added to National Film Registry

    “Purple Rain,” “Clerks,” “She’s Gotta Have It,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Amadeus,” “Sleeping Beauty,””Boys Don’t Cry” and “The Last Waltz” are among this year’s additions to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The list also includes 1944’s “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman in an Oscar-winning performance; the 1955 film noir “The Phenix City Story,” [...]

  • 6 Underground

    Michael Bay's '6 Underground': Film Review

    If “6 Underground” were opening in theaters, you’d want to be sure to get there on time. Within the first six minutes, Michael Bay destroys a plane, a motorcycle, three cars, countless pedestrians, and the dignity of three Italian nuns. I’m fairly certain that Ryan Reynolds — who heads up the film’s off-the-grid vigilante squad, [...]

  • Juliette Binoche (L) and Catherine Deneuve

    Macao Festival: Juliette Binoche Tells 'The Truth' About Acting

    It’s hard for Juliette Binoche to think about her recent career trajectory from a bird’s eye view as she hurtles along within it. She has put out five films in the past two years. Her latest is Hirokazu Kore-eda’s French-language drama “The Truth,” which is getting her Oscar buzz for her role opposite Catherine Deneuve. [...]

  • Kathy Bates Walk of Fame Honor

    Kathy Bates Erroneously Submitted for Lead Actress in SAG Awards Race (EXCLUSIVE)

    If dark horse awards contender Kathy Bates is absent in the best supporting actress category come tomorrow’s Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, don’t be too quick to put in on her performance in “Richard Jewell.” A clerical error was made by the Clint Eastwood film’s distributor Warner Bros., an insider with knowledge of the mixup [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content