Director Shawn Levy says a Real Steel 2 is "still something we flirt with."

Anthony Mackie was offered the role of Finn, owner of the underground robot boxing arena Crash Palace in the 2011 film Real Steel, over a phone call with director Shawn Levy.

"He offered me the part with the idea of the part growing throughout the scope of the movie and hopefully the series — because I was like, 'Man, we could do part 2. We could do part 10,'" Mackie said during EW's oral history of Real Steel for the movie's 10th anniversary. "I wanted it to be like the Fast and the Furious series."

Unfortunately that didn't happen for multiple reasons, but Mackie explained how he "always advocated for a sequel" and even shared an idea of where he wanted to see the Real Steel cinematic universe go.

"I think the possibilities are endless," the actor said. "I always thought about the idea of going to the underground world and seeing what the reality is. The underground boxing circuit is so different than that last fight [the finale League match in the movie] with all the glitz and the glam and the polish. I feel like you can do a Mad Max meets Real Steel, and I could be Tina Turner."

Real Steel
Anthony Mackie and Hugh Jackman in 'Real Steel'
| Credit: Melissa Moseley/DreamWorks

Real Steel starred Hugh Jackman, as Charlie Kenton, a down-on-his-luck retired boxer who's now deep into the sport of robot boxing — towering remote-controlled mechs who fight in rock 'em sock 'em matches. Charlie's estranged son, Max (then-10-year-old Dakota Goyo), is thrust back into his life, but in repairing an old sparring 'bot together, they build their relationship.

Mackie's Finn debuts at Crash Palace, where Charlie and Max initially take Noisy Boy, a 'bot they think will bring them great fortune, to box in the arena.

The star has gone on to headline The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series and the upcoming Captain America 4 film, but he admits "it would be hilarious to show [Max] coming back as a grown adult now and he's a successful businessman and he doesn't have time for robot boxing. 'That's for kids!' And he falls back in love with robot boxing and realizes that life is happier when you're not stressed with work." He adds, "I think that would be a great storyline."

Real Steel
Atom and Zeus robots from 'Real Steel'
| Credit: DreamWorks

Levy explained why a sequel to Real Steel never happened, even though so many fans and reporters to this day ask him if one will ever happen.

"We had some ideas right as we were finishing the movie, but none of them felt fully formed and special enough," the filmmaker said. "Are we sure we can top it? We never got to that draft."

He also notes how the film made close to $300 million worldwide at the time, which he suspects is because Real Steel "was marketed as like Transformers Light, but it was never Transformers. It was always a father-son movie."

"We did well, but not well enough," Levy continued. "It wasn't like we had $500 million and a sequel was a no-brainer. So, the economics were on the bubble, we didn't have the perfect script idea. It's still something we flirt with because whatever enduring love fans have for Real Steel, Hugh Jackman and I share it."

Both Levy and Jackman seem to be in agreement: if the stars ever aligned to make another movie, they'd both be on board. "Bring it on!" the star said.

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