If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Technically, the rock 'em sock 'em robot film 'Real Steel' won't be out in theaters until October 7th, but since when has that ever stopped a company from trying to make money? Due to some very positive test screenings of the "Rocky meets Transformers" film, Dreamworks has apparently re-hired writer John Gatins to pen a sequel to be put into development immediately. The move isn't unheard of in Hollywood, especially lately with their seemingly insatiable drive towards film franchises and trilogies.
The Shawn Levy-directed film stars Hugh Jackman as a boxer who's career vanishes out from under him when massive robots take over the sport. Now a washed up promoter using junk bots to get from fight to fight, he reunites with his estranged son to build a champion and launch the familiar "underdog fights his way to the top" storyline. The script - which is based on a short story by 'I Am Legend' author Richard Matheson - has attracted some big name executive producers (aka "the guys who write the big checks and get the best chairs on set") like Stephen Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis.
Hiring someone to write a sequel preemptively can sometimes drastically cut down on production time if the film is a success (for example: 'The Hangover, Part II' was written after Warner Bros. had a series of positive screenings for the first film). However, in the off-chance that a film under-performs at the box office, hiring someone to write a sequel could just be a waste of money (a third 'Tron' film is being written, but after it failed to live up to Disney's massive expectations, the third installment may never even be greenlit). I guess we'll all have to wait and see how 'Real Steel' does when it hits theaters on Oct. 7th.