×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hugh Jackman to star in ‘Real Steel’

DreamWorks greenlights sci-fi movie

Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider are betting big on robots for their first project since securing $825 million in financing for the reconstituted DreamWorks.

The DreamWorks principals have greenlit the “Rocky”-esque robot tale “Real Steel,” to star Hugh Jackman, as their first pic since raising $650 million from both J.P. Morgan Securities and Reliance Big Pictures and an additional $175 million from Disney, which will distrib DreamWorks titles.

Industry watchers have been eager to see what DreamWorks’ first post-financing move would be. The Shawn Levy-helmed futuristic pic represents a recurring theme for Spielberg, who has explored the motif of human-like robots in a number of films in his role as a director, producer and DreamWorks executive — ranging in recent years from “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” to “Transformers” and “Eagle Eye.”

Based on a short story by Richard Matheson, “Real Steel” was one of 17 projects that Spielberg and Snider took as part of DreamWorks’ split from Paramount last year.

Insiders say DreamWorks will make the pic on a budget of about $80 million — a far cry from the average price tag for sci-fi event films like “Transformers” or “Avatar.” DreamWorks plans to be the sole financier on the project, though Paramount can opt in for half. No decision will likely be made on Paramount’s end for several weeks.

Par and Spyglass partnered with DreamWorks to finance “Dinner for Schmucks,” the first project DreamWorks greenlit after leaving the Paramount fold.

DreamWorks initially bought the project, scripted by Dan Gilroy, in 2005 for a reported $850,000. John Gatins penned the most recent draft.

Story centers on a fighter who has to reinvent himself when human boxers are replaced by robots. Jackman will play a struggling Robot Boxing promoter who finds a discarded robot that always seems to win. He also discovers he has a 11-year-old son, and they bond as the robot brawls its way toward the top.

Although grounded in the father-son relationship, Levy describes the film as a “rousing sports movie” with Jackman’s character “a former boxer who can no longer do the only job he’s good at, and one particular robot that may be his return to grace.”

Production starts in June.

“When we took it with us, we really highlighted it as something we would put the pedal to metal on,” said DreamWorks co-president of production Mark Sourian. “It’s a project that Steven always wanted to do. It just came together rapidly after we left Paramount.”

Angry Films’ Don Murphy and Susan Montford are producing “Real Steel” along with Levy. Spielberg is exec producing alongside ImageMovers’ Jack Rapke, Robert Zemeckis and Steve Starkey.

More Film

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in a Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Tessa Thompson Nnamdi Asomugha

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha to Star in 'Slyvie'

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are set to star in the feature film “Slyvie.” Eugene Ashe has written the screenplay and will direct with production currently underway. The film is described as a love story set in the cool jazz era of New York City in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. Sylvie (played by Thompson) meets aspiring [...]

  • Night Fury dragon Toothless and Hiccup

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Soaring to $50 Million-Plus Launch

    “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is soaring toward a $53 million launch weekend at 4,259 North American locations, early estimates showed on Friday. That estimate is well above Universal’s forecast in the $40 million range at 4,259 sites — and ahead of its predecessors, 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” which made [...]

  • Actors With Disabilities Deserve a Hollywood

    Dreaming of a Hollywood Ending for Actors With Disabilities (Guest Column)

    Picture a world in which an actor with a disability wins an Academy Award. Sadly, that storyline remains no more than a Hollywood fantasy. In recent years, the #OscarsSoWhite trending hashtag campaign has shed light on the lack of diversity in the movie industry. Yet ahead of this year’s Oscars on Feb. 24, society’s definition [...]

  • Clark Gable III

    Clark Gable's Grandson, Who Hosted 'Cheaters,' Found Dead at 30

    Clark Gable’s grandson, Clark Gable III, died on Friday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Variety confirmed with the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. He was 30. “It’s is with an extremely heavy heart we say goodbye to my beautiful son Clark,” his mother wrote on Instagram. “He passed this morning. I will always [...]

  • You Were Never Really Here If

    Film Independent's Spirit Awards Fly the Flag for Indie Film

    As the 2018 awards season marches slowly into its final days, only a handful of honors remain undistributed after some of the most volatile and contentious campaigns in years. Front-runners have come and gone in one major category after the next, as each guild and critics group announced different winners than its predecessors, demolishing expectations [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content