Disney+ is developing a TV series based on Shawn Levy’s 2011 film Real Steel. The original movie starred Hugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly

It was set in the near future where robot boxing has replaced human sport. Jackman played a broke, down on his luck ex-boxer who is estranged from his son. When circumstances bring them back together they find an obsolete junkyard sparring robot and work together to enter the lucrative world of robot boxing.


Real Steel was based on the short story Steel, written by Richard Matheson, which was originally published in the May 1956 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and later adapted into a 1963 Twilight Zone episode.

The original screenplay was written by Dan Gilroy and was purchased by DreamWorks for $850,000 in 2003 before becoming one of 17 projects that DreamWorks took from Paramount Pictures when they split in 2008.

Director Peter Berg expressed interest in the project in mid-2009 but it did not progress until Levy was attached to the project in September 2009. When Jackman was cast in the starring role in November for a $9 million fee, Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider at DreamWorks greenlit the project.

The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. On Spielberg’s suggestion, 26 robots were built to take part in the movie, with Jackman saying:

“You should really have real elements where you can… basically if they’re not walking or fighting, that’s a real robot.”

Levy said Spielberg’s assistance was based on his experiences making Jurassic Park where having animatronic dinosaurs:

“..got a better performance from the actors, as they were seeing something real, and gave the visual effects team an idea of what it would look like.”

The series is being developed by 20th Television and writers are being hired. Executive producers include Shawn Levy, Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke, Jacqueline Levine, Susan Montford, and Don Murphy.

The original film earned more than $300 million at the worldwide box-office and is well regarded.

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