Just over a month ago, we announced that Disney+ was developing a real steel series based on Shawn Levy movie. At the time, we knew the production deals had been done and the studio and those involved were looking for a writer to flesh out the subject matter of the series.
If you don’t remember the movie, released in 2011, Hugh Jackman stars as a run-down boxer who reconnects with his estranged son (dakota Goyo) as they build and train a battle robot to fight in the Robot Boxing World Championship. real steel also stars Anthony Macky, Evangeline Lilyand Hope Davis, and it’s one of those films that manages to blend story and motion-capture technology in a cool way. One of the things that impressed me the most was how Levy created the film world; it’s the kind of place that could easily be explored in more detail in a series, and it would certainly feel right at home on Disney+.
A few days ago, I landed a long interview with Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy about their fantastic new Netflix movie, The Adam Projectand got an update on the real steel series. According to Levy, once the news broke, they were developing a real steel series, they went from slow talking to agents and writers to “inbound calling business.” He explains:
“We were slowly reaching out to some agents and writers. “Hey, you want to write a real steel series ? The day this story broke, we moved into what we call the incoming calls business, which is you sit down and your phone rings and it’s just incoming calls. And it’s agent after agent saying, “My writer is dying to write it. Can you meet my writer? My writer has an idea.” So that changed the dynamic. of finding a writer and a catch. And it got a lot easier because suddenly the volunteers and the ideas were flowing to us. “
Of course, even if they meet writers and hear ideas, that doesn’t mean it will be filmed soon. They still have to decide who to hire, open a writers room, and get the green light from Disney. That takes time. Levy explains where they are in the development process and how they got some great pitches for what the show could be:
“There can be no filming this year. We have now had several writers’ pitch meetings. We refine the research and ideas behind the plug. There are many different ways to go there. It’s a bit intimidating because a lot of these ways are valid and cool. And which one is good? I go back to something I said in our Project Adam maintenance. I’m just going to have to trust my instincts to know which one is right, because there’s no objective arbiter of good and bad. I don’t think we’re going to, no. Because even once we choose our writer, we then open a room, we break up a whole season of television. So it’s more of a process. But we are certainly making good progress now. And the way the news broke and took off was a big boon for writers seeking.
Another thing I discussed with Levy was the overwhelmingly positive reaction when news broke that they were developing a real steel series. As we all know, the fandom can be hard to please, but I haven’t seen anyone say anything negative about the news. I asked Levy if he was surprised at the level of interest.
“Yes. I was sitting at The Adam Project mix the day this story broke. I look at the dozens and dozens of sites that have taken up this story. A story about a possible show based on a movie from ten years ago. It was more successful than some stories about new business or newer movies. It was just confirmation of what I’ve felt on Twitter specifically for years that people like real steel it’s certainly long-lasting, but very personal to them. Very moving for them. I was already excited about the possibility of expanding that world through some form of series for Disney+. But the way this story took off was the final proof that “Oh, wow. The love is still there. The interest is still there. Now I just have to tell the right story in the right way.”
You can watch everything Levy told me in the player above.
Finally, if you haven’t seen the trailer for The Adam Project, you can watch it below. As we get closer to the March 11 release date, I’ll be posting more of my conversation with Reynolds and Levy, and after release, you can expect a spoiler-filled conversation about some of my favorite scenes from the movie.
The series will be written by “Eastern Promises” and “Peaky Blinders” screenwriter Steven Knight.
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