Real Steel is all about how robot boxing can be a road to redemption. Reports of The X-Files 3 might be a bit premature. Plus lots more from the sets of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from Real Steel.
Here's another batch of set photos from the New York filming, including a photo of Stan Lee and Chris Evans near each other in a cafe, which quite probably ties in with Lee's cameo in the film. [Spinoff Online and The Daily Mail]
The Dark Knight Rises
Here's a set video from the Los Angeles filming featuring more of the tunnel of destroyed cars. [Comic Book Resources]
Shawn Levy explains how they approached the robot boxing:
It was every day, making sure you're servicing just the crazy, balls-out action of robots wailing on each other - and thankfully we had [boxing legend] Sugar Ray Leonard as our consultant for the fights, which was a really great guarantor [of quality].
I'll digress for a moment, but what's cool about this movie is that this isn't computer animation. This is motion capture with real fighters in a real ring, consulting in the ring with me and Sugar Ray, wailing on each other in full contact. We took that captured fight as data and we converted it into robot avatars. That was a big thing. To do the movie as mo-cap instead of animation was a big choice. Mo-cap allows the director to direct a performance; it's not left to the imagination of an animator that sometimes you don't even meet. It was huge. Every day we were making sure the robots were cool-looking in terms of design and full-contact fighting.
He then went on to explain Hugh Jackman's role in the movie:
On the flip side, we could never forget that the movie is about Hugh Jackman's character, first, last and always. The movie is really only 30 to 35 percent robot-based fighting, but it's 100 percent anchored in Hugh Jackman playing this bot corner man and how he uses these machines to eventually get a shot at redemption...
Without giving too much away, he's at the center in that ... our hero robot, he ain't the biggest, he ain't the newest, he's not state of the art. What he has is this connection that I won't give away to Hugh's character, such that Hugh plays a former boxer [named Charlie] whose knowledge of the human sport that used to exist is the advantage that his robot has over the others. Every robot in the movie is built with one gear: full-on ground and pound. This robot fighter is informed more by Charlie's boxing history. So there's a nuanced human flair, resulting in this robot and his connection to Jackman, who's able to win fights he has no business winning.
There's more at the link. [MTV]
Elsewhere, Levy explains why he was brought on to direct the movie when his background isn't really found in science fiction:
"So I met with Steven [Spielberg] and said, you know, 'Why did you call me? It's not even a comedy.'" And he says, 'Because I've seen what you've done. It's always commercial. It's always kind of big-hearted. But I've had this feeling that your take on this would be what it needs.' So we shook hands in the room and I spent seven months re-writing the script with John Gatins... I had this whole different way to take the script, particularly in its back half that makes it much less just about rock 'em sock 'em type fodder and much more akin to some of the really rousing sports movies that I grew up on and loved."
And Hugh Jackman describes his character, ex-boxer and now robot trainer Charlie Kenton:
"He's misunderstood," Jackman says of playing Kenton, "I think he's a little bit of a broken man. He's disappointed himself and many people throughout his life and he's kind of used to that. He kind of expects to disappoint people and so he's one of those people who doesn't put himself in a situation where people rely on him. He lacks that self-confidence or self-belief, I suppose. [Max] is a kid he pretty much abandoned at birth and having him around is just a constant reminder of probably his biggest failure in life. So it's much easier to just keep someone at a distance than trying to keep them close and being protective."