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REAL STEEL

The Premise
Imagine a time in the near future when boxing fans have become bored with watching human beings pummel each other. It's a time when the public's thirst for violence and carnage is greater than what mere mortal athletes can give––or take. It's a world in which boxing has evolved to the point where men no longer compete against each other––robots have replaced pugilists.

The idea of boxing robots was a provocative one for noted director Shawn Levy who is widely regarded for his box-office hit comedies "Night at the Museum” and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.” When DreamWorks first presented him with the idea for "Real Steel” he says he was attracted to the project because of the pitch from Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider. "They called me up and talked about what at first sounded like a crazy idea for a movie,” Levy recalls of his initial response to the story. "Of course I was super-flattered, but I was on the fence about the premise. Then I read the script. What I found was an opportunity to make an emotional father/son/sports movie. That was galvanizing for me.”

"We were thrilled to get to work with Shawn,” comments Stacey Snider, Principal Partner/Co-Chairman/CEO, DreamWorks Studios. "And we believe that with this movie, he's even surpassed the great work with which he's previously been associated. ‘Real Steel' is a real game changer.”

Shawn Levy grew up not only as a fan of boxing but also as an ardent admirer of boxing movies such as "Raging Bull” and the "Rocky” series of films. "Even the not-so-great ones are awesome because there's usually an underdog hero and you want him to have a comeback and to give his all and ultimately triumph,” the director says. "‘Real Steel' is absolutely an homage to those boxing movies that I watched with my brothers fifty times.”

Although "Real Steel” is an action movie complete with visually remarkable American landscapes and big-action spectacles, director Levy did not want to rely simply on either the wide-open vistas or fantastic robot machinery in order to explore the relationships in the story. "For me, this movie couldn't be just big and loud and cool,” Levy says. "That would have been unoriginal. The screenplay had a unique human heart at its core, so the movie had to be an interesting hybrid of badass action and scale, with a really sincere and warm-hearted story that is ultimately about salvation.”

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