Richard Matheson, author of “I Am Legend,” was aware of this danger long before most. He wrote a short story called “Real Steel,” in which a professional boxer is forced out of the sport when robots replace humans as competitors. Rather than the story taking a dark turn, the former boxer and his son bond over a robot boxer of their own. Life, as ever, imitates “The Simpsons” (yes, I am aware Matheson’s story predates that episode… just let me make my joke). Now, Variety reports that “Real Steel” is about to get… err… real-er, as DreamWorks has greenlit the story for an adaptation.
Talk of a “Real Steel” movie has been burbling for a few weeks, with Hugh Jackman connected to the starring role of the boxer-turned-promoter-turned-robot manager. The Variety article further confirms Jackman’s starring role in the film, which is expected to budget out at around $80 million. Production is supposed to get underway in June, so expect more casting announcements to come soon.
For now, I’d like to go on record as saying that the world is sadly short on robot boxing movies. Here’s hoping that “Real Steel” is just the start of a trend that will one day put the “Twilight“-fueled vampire craze to shame. When that glorious day comes to pass, you can look back on this write-up and know that I called it.
Have you read any of Matheson’s work? “Real Steel” specifically? Do you think the world need more movies about robot boxing? Less?