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Wolfgang Petersen maybe, possibly directing Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots movie

Home of the most dispiriting news Hollywood has to offer, Pajiba is reporting that Mattel is currently developing a movie based on Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots, the plunger-based pugilism game that briefly captured the world’s fancy in the ’60s, ’70s, and '80s, before your dumb stepbrother lost a match then, like a big baby, smashed the button on his joystick too hard and broke it forever. Of course, this project is only said to be “in development,” but reportedly Wolfgang Petersen is already attached as a possible director, with screenwriter Kurt Wimmer (Salt, Law Abiding Citizens) also potentially taking first crack at a story described as “Gladiator meets Iron Man… the human story of one robot that becomes part human, part robot.” Oh, so it’s a think piece.

Of course, as Pajiba points out, there’s already a giant boxin’ robots movie in the works: Shawn Levy’s Real Steel, which puts Hugh Jackman in a “boxing drama set in the near-future where 2,000-pound robots that look like humans do battle.” And because of the timing, Pajiba is sticking to the belief that this project will likely die in development, given the similarities between the two. But then, we don’t recall anyone over at Real Steel balking because of Robot Jox.

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