Director Shawn Levy: working with Steven Spielberg was ‘dream mentorship’

While discussing “Real Steel” with Screen Rant, director Shawn Levy was asked about Spielberg’s involvement:

SR: How involved was Spielberg in the process?

“It was the best of all worlds because we had a very critical and defining meeting up front where I told him exactly the movie that I was going to make and he said, ‘look, go make your movie, it’s yours.’ I had zero interference and I had creative autonomy on this movie more than I’ve ever had. But he said, ‘if you ever want any input, call me.’ And I was like, ‘okay I’ll call you… Steven Spielberg,’ but I secretly knew he was doing like seventy-four other projects. Meanwhile, when I designed the robots, when I had a new version of the screenplay, when I had a first edit, when I started getting visual effects I would call Steven and I would say, ‘hey, can you come down?’ And he would find a way to get there, give me his input — take it or leave it — I most often took it, and then he would leave. So, at every critical decision juncture in the movie Steven was my main number one source of advice and reactions.”

SR: What was that experience like?

“It’s the dream mentorship. I will tell you when I showed my directors cut to the studio (it was Steven and twenty Dreamworks executives) and the lights came up and Steven looks over at me and I see that there were tears in his eyes… He so validated the movie that I had made and that moment was more thrilling to me than any box-office success I’ve had so far. So it’s been a generous mentorship from start to finish with Steven, and it’s now one of the defining collaborations of my career.”

Real Steel opens in theaters this Friday, October 7th.

Shawn Levy directs a cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie, Hope Davis and James Rebhorn with Steven Spielberg producing.

Read the entire interview:

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