On to my first post regarding our interviews with the amazing talent that created the movie Real Steel. After reading the transcripts I realize that some of it must be left out for the sake of the viewer. There are some parts that give away too much of the movie. So I’ve decided to post parts that I found fascinating and entertaining with my own commentary as well.
We were told a head of time that the writer, John Gatins was in the movie, though his character was all made up you can definitely tell which character he portrayed. I’m going to leave you in suspense on this one and want to see if you can recognize him when you see it. My only hint to you is that his favorite robot is : Midus.
A fascinating thing was we learned that Real Steel was not exactly the movie it was first envisioned to be. The producers had more of a dark and twisted plot in mind.
Blogger: Can you take us through kind of the thought process of how [UNINTELLIGIBLE] to make this and the target audience and just kind of where are we going for who.
Don Murphy : Well it took seven years to make the film. Um, and it started out when Susan and I brought the short story to DreamWorks. And, um, it’s really an interesting, really an interesting question because there was, like, the eternal struggle. Susan and I tend to be very dark. And so we were kind of, with Bob Zemeckis, kind of pushing it over to, like, [UNINTELLIGIBLE] for a heavyweight, you know, the fight gets thrown and the Hugh Jackman character is an alcoholic and all this kind of stuff.
Don Murphy : Steven (Spielberg), of course, is sunshine and light and so he was like, “Put a boy in there.” He was taking it all, like, to THE CHAMP level. And I think that struggle kind of ended up with, uh, a really good place which is the ROCKY level.
Don Murphy: ….. So the thought processes, the thought process literally was we thought we were gonna do a dark, twisted movie with robots and, uh, we ended up with a really commercial movie with — that’s not very dark and twisted. A little bit, but not too much.
I don’t think the movie is dark and twisted at all. The movie is such a heart felt story it is sure to pull on your heart strings. In fact it has been very interesting to see the opinions of people BEFORE they see the movie versus the opinions of those that have. I really believe this movie is taking people by surprise. They are expecting to see a Rock Em’ Sock Em’ robot movie and are blown away by the story between Charlie and Max.
It turns out that there is a story behind the origin of this movie.
Blogger : Was the movie based on the TWILIGHT ZONE episode “Steel?”
Don Murphy : Well, there’s a short story that comes before that.
Don Murphy: There’s a famous short story called “Steel” by Richard Matheson. Richard Matheson is one of these big science fiction guys with an unbelievable career. Susan and I got to know him. He’s in his late eighties. We just screened a film for him, luckily he liked it. Um, he goes from amazing, from THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN in the fifties to I AM LEGEND a couple of years ago. Um, he also is very crucial to Steven’s career. He wrote the movie DUEL, which was Steven’s first movie. And also he was story editor on AMAZING STORIES for Steven.
Blogger : So they go way back.
Don Murphy : So Susan and I optioned the short story, which was only twelve pages, which was also the basis, as you say, of a twenty-two minute TWILIGHT ZONE with, uh, Lee Marvin. Uh, but we only took, we took like five key ideas, key ideas, so you don’t rip the guy off, from the, from the short story and then everything else is….. Otherwise it would be a ten minute movie.
As the story was written and the dark and twisted was minimize the overall feel of the movie was “family” this appears to be the intentions of all the talented people that worked on this film.
Blogger: What was your intended audience.
Susan Montford : It was a family film. You know, we think, we would ideally like the whole family to go and see it and all get different things from it, ’cause we think it’s got something for kids and something for parents.
Blogger : You said you originally wanted it to be really dark.
Don Murhpy: That’s just us. We’re twisted.
Blogger: When you decided to go the more family route, how did you balance the lightness and the dark so that you please both audiences?
Don Murphy: That’s a writer’s question.
John Gatins: I mean, I think that, you know, Steven was the, Steven added the boy. Always wanted, like, he wanted there to be a boy in the movie, which was not evident obviously in the story or the TWILIGHT ZONE episode at all. So Steven wanted, you know, to add the boy and then, you know, I was working on drafts with Peter Berg originally and he wanted the movie to be very, a really rough relationship between of them, and obviously a lot of that exists still in the film.
John Gatins : But, you know, he also wanted the Bailey character to be, it was a man who was a great machinist, kind of thing, a mechanic who worked with him and that kind of thing. So that was another Steven thing where he was like, “I think that should be a woman so that it gives them something to play.” So the movie kind of, and then when Shawn came on, Shawn obviously has this kind of, crazy, kind of movie magic that he does, you know, with families, you know. So that kind of like helped to it. And then I would say, like, Hugh Jackman, I don’t know that anybody else could have balanced the question, the answer to your question better than Hugh.
John Gatins : ‘Cause you have to think of other actors that you can think of who are guys who can be that tough who you, he’d be nervous about the whole time. Like Hugh plays this amazing role where he can be mean to the kid but you hang in there with him. Like you kind of see something inside and then you’ve met him, I mean, it’s like, he’s the most lovely guy in the world. So it’s like, it’s, I, I give him so much credit for kind of being able to kind of smooth those edges that still make you feel like I’m gonna hang in there with this guy.
This is so true, Hugh may be a jerk at the beginning of the movie but trust me by the end you think he is a hero and a great dad fighting for his son.
Now this was my favorite part of the interview and I don’t know if it comes across as amazing as it was. John Gratins is talking about one of the scenes that had to be deleted. It was a tough choice for them and it was very hard to do. After listening to the scene I can totally understand the struggle. I’m hoping to see this in the deleted scenes on the DVD.
John Gatins : And you know the thing that didn’t survive the movie that Shawn and I both were kind of bummed about and it will probably be on the DVD is there was a, there was a whole kind of origin story of Max, you learn more about his mom. And there was this whole thing about this butterfly and this butterfly hustle that he had. And then like, he kind of argues with, you know, Charlie about it throughout the movie ’cause he had all these plastic ones and he made it like there was a special one. And then he actually has one that’s special and Charlie says to him, “You don’t get it. You are the butterfly Max.” It’s like, it was about his mom.
All of Us : Awww.
John Gatins : See. This was the room I could tell that story to. You know what I mean? Because in screenings people say like, “I love the movie but, like, I don’t get why you didn’t like, what happened with his mom and blah, blah, blah.” It’s like, look, we shot it, you know.
Susan Montford : Yeah, we loved that scene as well but unfortunately there was a….constraint and the performance just wasn’t perfect.
Susan Montford : And it wasn’t perfect enough to get picked.
Don Murphy : And the problem with the butterfly is it’s in a bunch of scenes.
John Gatins: Yeah. Now there’s a problem. So if we lost this one piece we kind of had to lose all of these pieces to it.
Susan Montford : We all cried when we let it go.
John Gatins : It was hard. It was hard.
Don Murphy : It’s a great scene but the scene never quite played right.
Don Murphy : And then we had to cut out the butterfly entirely. But it might show up in the deleted scenes.
Susan Montford : Yeah, but we feel, you know, that most people can relate, most kids and most people can relate to a slight conflict with one or either parents. And then there’s obviously the whole….resolution and you go your moments and….and then you always love them. And we feel it embodies that quite realistically and sweetly because of Hugh and the way he does it.
John Gatins : Yeah. ‘Cause he has the ar-, remember he had the argument with the kid, when the kid thought he lost the butterfly, the pin,…..this whole thing and he was like, “She gave it to me.” He was like, “And I gave it to her.”
All of Us : Awww.
It was interesting to find out that another actor was suppose to play Max, however after some discussion they decided they needed to go with a younger actor. All I can say is that Dakota Goyo in this movie was amazing. He is a great actor and really had a lot to do with how this movie turned out as a whole. The chemistry between himself and Hugh Jackman was right on.
Blogger: He (Dakota Goya) carries the movie really, really well. He’s such a [UNINTELLIGIBLE] talent. How difficult is it to find that [UNINTELLIGIBLE]?
Susan Montford : Well, we started off with an older kid who had done quite a lot of movies. And, we actually liked him but Steven said, “Well, I think actually you need to go younger and you need to keep looking.” So we ended up doing this worldwide search where, you know, kids from all over the world were posting videos on the various websites and obviously the casting directors did an amazing job because they boiled it down to a few (I believe she says about 10( on there and when we looked at the few we were unanimous… This was an exhaustive search.
John Gatins : And I’ll say too, you know, Dakota is so winning in the movie, it’s amazing, you know…
John Gatins : But, you know, the thing about his performance in the movie is, it’s, there’s a Hugh Jackman element to it that you cannot deny ’cause Hugh is a guy who has kids and we all know it’s like, you know, getting them, drawing them out. It’s like Hugh gives away the movie constantly, like in every scene, to Dakota. He just kind of gives it to him and gives it to him. It’s amazing. It’s, like, and that chemistry is what kind of carries the entire movie. You can watch them argue all day.
Umm…I can watch Hugh Jackman sit and breathe all day.
They were interested in our thoughts on what age we felt the movie was for.
John Gatins : How young would you guys go with letting a kid see the movie?
Some Bloggers: Twelve. (My note: not me I’m taking all my children)
John Gatins : Really?
Blogger : Well for me there’s one scene where they’re —
John Gatins : They get beat up?
Blogger : Without that scene I definitely would go younger. That’s such an intense scene.
This is about all I felt I could post before the movie release. There are some amazing questions and answers that just delve to deep into the movie to share with you before you have scene it. This interview was our first round table interview and it really put my nerves at ease. It really gave me an appreciation for all the work that goes into a film and the amount of collaboration between everyone to get a final cut.
I will say again that this is a MUST SEE Movie sure to surprise you in many ways. If someone it doesn’t appeal to you on an emotional level at least you got to see some really cool fighting robots you can’t deny they are TOTALLY COOL!
Disclaimer: I was the guest of DreamWorks and Disney as part of a Real Steel press junket.