Real Steel's boxers are robots, but Shawn Levy may be looking to the pages of history for his next batch of fighters. He's certainly producing, along with Dan Levine, but Levy may also direct The Deadliest Warrior, based on the Spike TV series of the same name.
It's all happening at Paramount, Spike's sister company, with John D Payne and Patrick McKay at work on the script. The pair previously wrote the historical battle epic Goliath, based on the David and Goliath story and currently holding the attention of Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Day the Earth Stood Still).
They seem like a good match for a "what-if?" series that pits history's greatest fighters against one another. It's the old "who'd win in a fight between Wolverine and Hulk?"* question, except with the likes of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great replacing the superheroes. Or, if you will, it's MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch, but with proper historians and CGI and fighters and weapons, instead of ropey claymation.
It's not a story-based series, so the direction of the spin-off movie's plot is unclear and being kept firmly under wraps by the studio. We'd suggest Payne and McKay could do a lot worse than look to Nick Cave's infamously mental script for Gladiator 2, which saw Maximus reincarted throughout history, turning up in WWII and at the Pentagon. Somebody really ought to make that.
Early days yet, so who knows what dreams may come? In the meantime, Levy's Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman, is out in the UK on October 7.
*We're still upset about the outcome of that one in the comics too. Was it REALLy necessary for Hulk to throw Wolverine's lower half that far?