Why Real Steel 2 Never Happened


  • Real Steel, despite being a success, never got a sequel due to director Shawn Levy’s desire to only make sequels that can match or top the first movie.
  • Making a sequel to Real Steel may be challenging due to potential difficulties in recasting the character of Max, who has grown up and retired from acting.
  • Anthony Mackie, who played Finn in the movie, supports the idea of a sequel and believes it could expand into a potential universe with an underground boxing circuit setting.

Even though Real Steel was a commercial success and received decent reviews upon its release, it never got a sequel. The movie centers around former boxer Charlie Kenton, played by Hugh Jackman, who is down on his luck. With robots replacing humans as boxers in the future, Charlie tries to avoid paying off a gambling debt while also being re-acquainted with his estranged son following the death of his ex-girlfriend. While Charlie initially brushed off his son by agreeing to let him live with his ex-girlfriend’s family, the two bond when they find a common interest in boxing robots, helping Charlie find a new lease on life.

While centering a movie around a deadbeat dad suddenly finding new meaning in life through his connection with his long-lost son is a cliché plot, the added ingredient of boxing robots made Real Steel a fun ride and a massive success at the box office. Now that Real Steel has seen a resurgence in its popularity following its release on Netflix, there certainly could be room for a sequel, even if it’s been 12 years since its theatrical release. Of course, for that to happen, those involved in the film, both actors and the filmmaker, would have to be involved to re-capture the magic.

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Shawn Levy Explained Why A Sequel Never Came To Be

Hugh Jackman shadow boxes a robot in Real Steel.

In an interview with Collider in 2022, Real Steel director Shawn Levy explained why there hasn’t been a sequel to the film. “I really try to not make sequels that don’t deserve to be. And it’s why I didn’t move forward with the Real Steel sequel because I didn’t feel we had a second movie that could match or top the first.” Many Hollywood franchises add sequels to cash in on the popularity of the first installment. Evidently, despite the potential being there to do the same with Real Steel, those behind it, like Levy, do not want to risk hurting its legacy.

It may also be hard to orchestrate all the ingredients to make a sequel, and not just because of how much time has passed since its release. Dakota Goyo, who played Charlie’s pre-teen son, Max, has grown up and retired from acting. They would have to recast him to continue the story, whether that be as a child or as an adult. However, despite no sequel in the works, a Real Steel Disney+ series was announced to be in production in 2022, though there haven’t been many updates since. If it stays popular on Netflix, that may inspire Disney to follow through on the series.

What A Real Steel Sequel Could Have Been About

Anthony Mackie Reveals How The Story Could Have Expanded

Custom image of Anthony Mackie in Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Hugh Jackman in Real Steel.

Anthony Mackie, who played Charlie’s friend, Finn, is all for making a sequel for Real Steel. In 2021, he not only pushed for a sequel to Real Steel but believes a sequel could expand into a potential universe. “I think the possibilities are endless,” Mackie said. “I always thought about the idea of going to the underground world and seeing what the reality is. The underground boxing circuit is so different than that last fight with all the glitz and the glam and the polish. I feel like you can do a Mad Max meets Real Steel, and I could be Tina Turner.

Real Steel is streaming on Netflix.

Sources: Collider

  • realsteel

    Real Steel

    Release Date:

    Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, karl yune


    127 minutes

    Science Fiction, Drama, Sports

    John Gatins

    Based on a short story that also served as inspiration for a Twilight Zone episode, Real Steel imagines a world in which the sport of boxing has been taken over by fighting robots. Former boxer Charlie builds a boxing robot with his son Max, in an attempt to regain glory in his sport.

    $110 million




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