Starring Hugh Jackman in the main role, Real Steel is an unforgettable Sci-fi classic from Shawan Levy. Based on the works by Richard Matheson, this movie revolved around a futuristic version of 2020 where human boxers were replaced by robots.
The storyline centers on former boxer Charlie Kenton, who tries to build a robot powerful enough to become a boxing champion. With his kid Max, Kenton rebuilds an abandoned robot and participates in various matches to make a living and also to gain back recognition as a strong boxer.
Real Steel’s an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least, but its depiction of animatronics as boxers was way ahead of its time. Besides Hugh Jackman in the role of Charlie, the rest of the cast of Real Steel consists of Dakota Goyo as Max, Evangeline Lilly as Bailey, Anthony Mackie as Finn, and Olga Fonda as Farra.
Real Steel Filming Locations:
After DreamWorks purchased the rights to Richard’s books, the production was started in June 2010, with a budget of over $110 million. Almost all of the scenes were filmed in various cities in Michigan, giving the movie an old-fashioned American atmosphere while also being futuristic.
Principal shooting for Real Steel took place in this state, including famous places around the place like the Renaissance Center, the Ingham County Courthouse, and other locations. After Charlie hears that his ex has passed away, he has to unwillingly take care of his child, Max. This court hearing takes place in the Ingham County Courthouse located in Mason.
Once Charlie obtains Noisy Boy, he and Max shift to a new home. This was a gym owned by Bailey in the movie, but in reality, it was the Detroit Fire Department located at 250 West Larned Street.
After Noisy Boy’s reconstruction is complete, Charlie takes him to Crash Place, an underground location famous for hosting secret robot boxer fights. Despite his positive hopes, Noisy Boy doesn’t win against Midas.
This dueling round was set in a Ford Model T Factory located at 91 Manchester Avenue in Highland Park. The factory was long abandoned by the time the Real Steel crew showed up at the place to begin shooting the scenes.
Atom and Metro’s fight that took place at Shaefer Zoo was, in reality, the Belle Isle Zoo, which was closed in 2002 due to the declining number of visitors. The state of Michigan asked for public opinion on reusing the Zoo, which was later revamped into a Nature Center.
Max decides to incorporate Noisy Boy’s voice software into Atom, giving it many new functions. This motel where Charlie and Max stayed for a while was the Parkway Motel in Davisburg.
Charlie and Max continue to make improvements to Atom and make it fight at various underground duels. One victory after another, the robot soon fights Twin Cities, one of the most powerful robot boxers around.
This fight with the Twin Cities took place at the Cobo Center, which is now known as Huntington Place. The Arena was large and perfect for witnessing a fight between an underground champion and a successful robot boxer. Located in Downtown Detroit, the Center had to change its name after Mayor Mike Duggan wanted to modernize it.
Charlie has to eventually give Max to his foster parents at Tarryton Towers, and this scene was filmed at GM Renaissance Center. Most of the climax scenes, where Charlie takes Max out to see a fight he had staged, were filmed at Renaissance Center, too.
After fixing Atom up and preparing him for a fight, Max staged a duet between Atom and Zeus, one of the strongest robot Boxers ever. This was filmed at the riverside entrance of the Renaissance Center.
Also known as RenCen, this place is made up of 7 different skyscrapers, giving a futuristic and modern look to the Downtown area of the city. It was later rebranded to GMRENCEN to indicate a new and refreshed Detroit. The Riverfront has hosted a bunch of events, a few of which include concerts and anime conventions.
Besides Real Steel, the RenCen has also been featured in movies like Out of Sight and Action Jackson. Other places in Michigan, like Hartland, the village of Oxford, Leslie, and Holly, were also seen in the 2011 movie. Detroit, as a whole, has been the prime filming spot for movies such as Deadpool, Transformers, The Karate Kid, and Batman V Superman.
For now, Real Steel is available to stream on Disney+, Netflix, or Prime Video.