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‘Real Steel’ Series in Early Development at Disney Plus

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A “Real Steel” series adaptation is in the early stages of development at Disney Plus, Variety has learned.

The potential series would be based on the 2011 film of the same name, which was itself based on the short story “Steel” by Richard Matheson.

The film took place in the not too distant future in which human boxers have been replaced by giant fighting robots. Hugh Jackman starred as a former boxer who, along with his estranged son, fixes up an old robot they find in a junkyard and turns it into a champion.

As the project is still in the very early stages, no writer is yet attached. That means it is not yet clear if the show would adhere to the events of the original film or take a different direction altogether with new characters.

Shawn Levy, who directed the “Real Steel” film, will executive produce the series via 21 Laps. Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke of Compari Entertainment also executive produce, as does Jacqueline Levine, and Susan Montford and Don Murphy of Angry Films. The Disney Branded Television series will be produced by 20th Television.

Along with Jackman, the “Real Steel” film starred Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Olga Fonda, Karl Yune, and several more. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film went on to gross just shy of $300 million worldwide against a reported budget of $110 million. It also received an Academy Award nomination for best visual effects.

Should the “Real Steel” series move forward, it would be the latest attempt by Disney Plus to mine existing IP under the media giant’s umbrella as a new streaming series. In addition to the successful Marvel and “Star Wars” series that have already aired on Disney Plus, the streamer also has shows like “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” and upcoming fare like “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” “National Treasure,” and “Willow.”