If you held out faint hope that Hugh Jackman wouldn't be helping Shawn Levybox robots, and would abandon it for a feature film adaptation of A Steady Rain, kiss it goodbye now. Variety reports that DreamWorks' Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider have green-lit Real Steel, making it the studio's first big financial project since it split with Paramount, and had to find its own money.

Spielberg was attached to the project as executive producer when it was first announced, and it seems that it's been a real passion project for him. DreamWorks bought the project back in 2005, and it was one of the films they held onto after splitting from Paramount. "When we took it with us, we really highlighted it as something we would put the pedal to metal on," said DreamWorks co-president of production Mark Sourian. "It's a project that Steven always wanted to do. It just came together rapidly after we left Paramount." The film will be made for the relatively low budget of $80 million, and will begin production next June.

With a low budget to avoid Transformers excess, perhaps the magic of Spielberg and Richard Matheson can overcome the kiddie tendencies of Shawn Levy, and turn it into something special. A lot of commenters mentioned that Matheson's story was adapted into an episode of the Twilight Zone called Steel. Happily, it's online and I've embedded it below the jump. It really is a good episode, and while Levy keeps stressing that his Real Steel is grounded in its "father-son relationship," I hope it can retain a bit of Matheson's grit. I could be happy with a robot version of Million Dollar Baby.

categories Movies, Cinematical