Hugh Jackman’s Forgotten Movie Getting A Reboot Series

By Tyler Pisapia | 2 weeks ago

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One of Hugh Jackman’s most underrated movies, of which there are many, may not be so underrated for long. It’s come to light that Dinsey+ is working on adapting the 2011 film Real Steel into a TV series that will air exclusively on its streaming platform. For those unfamiliar, Real Steel took place in a not too distant future in which human beings have decided that, rather than seeing people compete in the combat sport of boxing, they’d much rather see large-scale robots duke it out with human beings in control — honestly, who can blame them? Hugh Jackman plays a washed-up former boxer (the regular kind) who gets into the World Robot Boxing championship after he reconnects with his son and they fix up an old robot they find in a junkyard. 

The film was a box office success, earning an estimated $300 million worldwide throughout its lifetime. As a result, many wondered why this violent crowd-pleaser never got the sequel treatment. According to Collider, the reason had to do not with Hugh Jackman or other stars like Anthony Mackie, Evangeline Lilly or Hope Davis not singing on, but with the fact that the producers behind the movie had to burn through their existing contracts before they could green light moving forward on a Real Steel series. However, now that they’re all in a position to make something happen with the intellectual property, Variety reports it’s a go at Disney+.

The outlet reports that the project is still looking for a writer. As a result, there’s no word on whether or not Hugh Jackman’s character will be back to continue the story he started to tell in the movie, making the show a sequel series, or if whatever comes next will merely be a separate story that exists in the same universe — leaving the door open for one of the coolest cameos in Disney+ series history (yes, I say that knowing the whole Boba Fett reveal years ago in The Mandalorian).

hugh jackman real steel

Original movie director Shawn Levy, who is expected to be back in the director’s chair for the series at Disney+ with or without Hugh Jackman, noted to Deadline in 2021 that he believes that there is currently some renewed interest in Real Steel thanks in large part to it dropping on Netflix for people to stream and either watch it for the first time after missing it in theaters or view it for the first time after missing it in 2011. It’s also a fun dust off for older science fiction fans given that the original movie was based on the 1956 short story by Richard Matheson titled simply, Steel

While it would certainly be disappointing to the fans who reached for Reel Steel on Netflix to satisfy their Hugh Jackman craving if he wasn’t a part of the new series in any capacity. That said, as charming and fun to watch as the Logan actor is, the real appeal of the Real Steel property has less to do with any one character, charismatic as they may be, and more to do with the audience’s desire to see some cool robot-on-robot battle action. The kind of stuff kids from the 1990s and early 2000s hoped that the Battlebots show was going to be only to get a bunch of high stakes RC car racing… which was still pretty cool, admittedly.