The first image from Shawn Levy’s robot boxing movie Real Steel has arrived it’s much more promising than I anticipated. Perhaps I joked about this being a film in which Hugh Jackman plays Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots so many times that that’s kind of what I was expecting to see. Clearly that’s not the case.
First off, this robot battle isn’t a tabletop activity; these things are huge. They’re also not as rickety as I imaged. They appear to be very high tech with seamless finishing, flexible joints and even some decorative lights. On top of that, the machine in this image has a name, Noisy Boy. But he isn’t Jackman’s top fighter in the film. That title goes to Atom, a hunk of junk Jackman and his son stumble upon and attempt to groom into a World Robot Boxing league champion.
You know what’s truly outstanding about this robot? It’s real. Yes, motion-capture animation is used when the bots hit the ring, but 19 real animatronic machines were built to use during live-action scenes. Levy explained, “There are some things only visual effects can pull off.” He added, “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.”
Real Steel will hit theaters on November 18th, 2011.
By Perri Nemiroff (via USA Today)