The Inverse Interview

Exclusive: Shawn Levy drops some huge clues about 'Real Steel 2' and 'Deadpool 3'

“I'm going to mostly skirt that question, which might be an answer.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: Shawn Levy attend 2020 Netflix SAG After Party at Sunset Tower...

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In the fall of 2020, an unlikely contender climbed the ranks of Netflix’s streaming library. The 2011 science fiction gem Real Steel was suddenly one of the most-watched movies on the service. Nobody could say why for sure, but behind the scenes, the film’s director Shawn Levy and star Hugh Jackman were already in talks over what this all might mean for Real Steel 2.

“It became one of their top trending and most viewed titles,” Levy tells Inverse, “which led to Hugh and I talking again.”

The director and producer, currently promoting his new Ryan Reynolds action-comedy Free Guy, makes it clear that “there is no Real Steel 2 currently greenlit or in pre-production somewhere.” But he also makes it clear that for the first time in a while, it’s legitimately possible we could get a sequel.

“Never say never,” Levy says. “Even though it feels like the clock has run out on that window of opportunity, that fan love and that audience hasn't gone away. So who knows?”

Real Steel stars Jackman as a former boxer currently making a living by participating in an underground robot fight club. He’s forced to take care of his 11-year-old son and together they create their own robot fighter

The movie earned almost $300 million on a budget of just over $100M and has a 60% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Over the year’s its established a cult following, and dropping onto Netflix queues around the world in the middle of a pandemic was just the thing to propel Real Steel back into the mainstream.

“It has been on my mind and in conversation a lot lately.”

Over the years, Levy has teased various ideas for Real Steel 2, while also admitting that he’s struggled to write a script that can live up to the original. Hopefully, now that there’s demonstrated interest in a sequel, the Free Guy director can make it happen.

In an interview with Inverse, Shawn Levy goes into more detail on the current state of Real Steal 2, teases the future of his Unsolved Mysteries Netflix reboot, and does his best to avoid commenting on the rumors that he could team up with Reynolds again for Deadpool 3.

“I'm going to mostly skirt that question,” Levy says, “which might be an answer.”

Read the full interview below, and stay tuned for Inverse’s Free Guy review and the rest of our discussion with Levy next week when the movie premieres on August 13. (This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.)

Shawn Levy with the cast of Free Guy.Disney

I was looking at your IMDb page earlier today and I got excited because it says Real Steel 2 is confirmed, but I think that’s wrong. Can you confirm the status of that movie?

There is no Real Steel 2 currently greenlit or in pre-production somewhere. So that is the answer to that. But it has been on my mind and in conversation a lot lately, maybe because of the fact that when Netflix started streaming it during the lockdown, it became one of their top trending and most viewed titles, which led to Hugh and I talking again about, “Wow, what is this? This love for Real Steel?” And kind of this realization that, “Well wait, we love it that much too. We've always loved it that much too.”

So it's one of those, never say never. And even though it feels like the clock has run out on that window of opportunity. It feels like that fan love and that audience hasn't gone away. So who knows?

Shawn Levy with Deadpool (aka, Ryan Reynolds).Disney

There are rumors that you’re in the running to direct Deadpool 3. Are you interested in working with Marvel?

I'm going to mostly skirt that question, which might be an answer. But I'll answer the last part of it, which is: I'm a fan. I'm a fan of Deadpool, like a massive fan. And I'm a fan of the Marvel Universe and the way in which increasingly, individual filmmakers of real note can make and express with their own voice and vision through that franchise behemoth, whether it's what Taika did with Ragnarok, what Eternals is going to be, what James Gunn did with Guardians. These are real films that also happen to be Marvel movies.

So for the right title — because I only raised my hand on stuff where I know what to do with that, and there's a few where I feel I know what to do with that. So we'll see.

You produced Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot, which was a huge hit. Are we going to get more episodes?

I’ve got to be a little coy with that one, but maybe I'll just answer by saying the first one was a massive hit. And I'm sure not done with that franchise. And we'll just have to wait and see.

Free Guy hits theaters on August 13.