The first image from director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel has been released via USA Today. While the movie only started principal photography earlier today, Touchstone Pictures decided to stay ahead of any leaks by releasing the first image of Hugh Jackman and a robot today. And you know what…it’s a very smart move as this image looks great. Disney has also released the official synopsis:
A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech, “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback.
What’s very cool about the movie is rather than go all CGI for the robots, the production built 19 real-life animatronic giants for the scenes with the human actors. If you ask any actor, they’ll tell you it’s much easier to work with a real life prop rather than a tennis ball on a stick. I’d imagine these animatronic giants are going to make the performances that much better.
On seeing the robots for the first time, Jackman said, “The moment of walking in and seeing these robots, my jaw was on the floor.”
“There are some things only visual effects can pull off,” Levy says. “But when you give an actor a real thing, in this case a real 8-foot-tall machine, to interact with and do dialogue opposite, you get a more grounded reality to the performance.”
Update: A second new photo below (with Shawn Levy) and high quality version of the original photo above!
Shooting is currently underway in Michigan and the film has a November 18, 2011 release date. What do you think of the photo and are you now more excited for the film?