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From the Red Carpet: Real Steel Premiere

19th September 2011

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From ‘Rocky’ to ‘The Fighter’, films about boxing seem to be sure-fire cinema hits. Amir Kahn, a British boxer who won silver at the 2004 Olympics, said “This film is something new and exciting. I think it’s really good publicity for the sport [of boxing], and I hope it will encourage people to take it up.” However, if you’re thinking of making a career in boxing, do be wary.

Real Steel PremiereProducer Susan Montford said “The film is set in approximately ten years time, and I think by then robots taking over boxing most definitely could happen”.

Gathered around the 'blue' carpet' I am able to glimpse one of the boxing robots from new movie Real Steel, ‘Atom’, which was specially made using new technology for the film - the Avatar team were onboard so we shouldn’t be disappointed. We were even treated to a special appearance from ‘Titan’ the live robot, whose bizarre and impressive performance included squirting water from robotic eyes into unsuspecting members of the crowds and press alike.

Real Steel is based on the 1956 short story ‘Steel’ by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend). It follows the fate of failing boxer Charlie Kenton (Jackman) as he attempts to keep up with the game by training up a robot, in order to reclaim his former glory. Set in 2020, the robot sport is huge, and along his way Charlie faces many challenges: the reunion with his estranged son, played by Dakota Goyo, makes this film all about personal battles as well as robotic ones.

Real Steel is following in the wake of very successful robot movies such as ‘Transformers’. Director Shawn ‘Night at the Museum’ Levy was very conscious of this comparison.

“It was really a challenge for me to distinguish [Real Steel] from ‘Transformers’. Our robots look very different, they’re human built, and they can be destroyed: the main distinction is that this is really an underdog story that ends up being quite rousing and poignant.”

But amongst all the stars, real and robotic, the main attraction of the evening was undoubtedly Mr. Hugh Jackman himself.

Oozing charm and charisma, he swanned down the carpet greeting fans with a suave smile and the flourish of a pen. He seems quite humble, too: he told us, “When I started acting I wasn’t very good. I enjoy it because I’m really pretty boring in real life. So I get to be much more interesting”. Asking what he thought about this role, he told us “I loved this film: it was one of my favourites to do. I look for the characters that have flaws, it’s much more interesting.”

I stand in awe of the dreamy vision before me. As Mr. Jackman walks away, he gives a little shout to the crowd. “Australia to win the Rugby World Cup”. I sigh a little, and remind myself that no one, not even Hugh Jackman, is perfect.

REAL STEEL goes on general release from October 14

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