‘Real Steel’ Stars, Director Knock Out Misconceptions

'It's more 'Rocky' than it is Rock 'Em Sock 'Em [Robots],' director Shawn Levy tells MTV News of early skeptics.

For those who’ve been following the comings and goings of “Real Steel,” it’s a pretty well-known fact that when the project was first announced back in late 2009, the Internets lit up with comments and rants against the studio for green-lighting a Rock ’Em Sock Em Robots movie.

And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the problem with that perception, according to the stars and director themselves, is that it’s incorrect.

“A lot people [say], ’What is it, Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots?’ But it’s got a lot of heart,” Hugh Jackman told MTV News at the film’s premiere. “This movie is really about the relationships of everyone involved, and I think it’s going to surprise people. I saw it with my mother-in-law, my wife and my kids at the same screening, and they all were crying at one point, laughing, and they really got into it.”

Director Shawn Levy admitted that he wasn’t bothered so much by the quick critiques as he was amused, because they were analyzing elements of the film they hadn’t seen and a script they obviously hadn’t read.

“It’s more ’Rocky’ than it is Rock ’Em Sock ’Em. It’s all about the heart, it’s all about the characters,” Levy explained. “The action is great, and if you’re a young guy and you just want to come and watch robots wail on each other, great, you’re going to love it. But if you’re looking for more of an emotional experience, the movie is very much that.”

Evangeline Lilly took the emotional aspect of the plot one step further and explained the film’s overall message.

“I think the moral message here is: Never give up on yourself. Never sell out. Selling out is such a big thing nowadays, because our culture is so materialistic and money is everything, and in this film, this beautiful little boy played by Dakota [Goyo] will not sell out, and his father wants to, because his father, Hugh Jackman, is kind of pathetic compared to his son,” she explained. “His son is like, ’Dude, I’m not giving up on myself, I’m not giving up on my robot, I’m not giving up on you.’ It’s beautiful, because it’s supposed to be the inverse; the father is supposed to say that to the son. So it kind of breaks your heart to see a son redeem his father.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Real Steel.”

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