This is the first picture of Hugh Jackman on the set of Real Steel, from Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy and producers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis. The plot, as previously reported:
A Rocky-esque tale of a fighter who has to reinvent himself when human boxing becomes obsolete, replaced by 2000 pound human-like robots. Jackman plays the ex-fighter, who becomes a Robot Boxing promoter, but whose chances of success are hampered by his access to sub-standard robot parts. That is until he discovers a discarded robot that always seems to win. The ex-fighter has also discovered he’s the father of a 13-year old son, and they bond as the robot brawls its way toward the top.
That robot’s name? Seabiscuit. Anyway, USA Today, who published the publicity still, report that the scenes between robots and humans will be filmed using life-sized animatronics (not CGI), and that the fight scenes will be performance capture. They also report (no joke) that they’ve hired Sugar Ray Leonard as an adviser. (“So tell us, Sugar, in your expert opinion, how many ‘bots could a robot box if a robot could box bots?”)
“The heart of the story is this father and son relationship and in comes this junkyard robot* called Atom that the kid’s in love with,” Jackman says. “I abandoned the kid pretty much at birth. But we come together because the boy’s mother has died. We have a lot of distance to make up. It’s through this mutual interest in robot boxing that they find a way to come together and form a bond.”
Unlike Transformers or I, Robot, these machines aren’t sentient and are controlled by their “corner men,” like Jackman and the boy (10-year-old Dakota Goyo) — though Atom seems to have flashes of intelligence and understanding beyond his metallic brethren.
“Like Hugh and his son, he is a forgotten, abandoned being,” Levy says.
I hear later in the movie, Atom falls in love with a girl robot named Eve, horrifying the humans, who find it unnatural. And that’s when they have to fight the snakes.
*Sidenote: “The Junkyard Robot” would be an awesome boxing nickname.