Real Steel, the Shawn Levy-directed, Hugh Jackman-starring, Robots-fighting movie comes out October 7, and is still deep in post-production. But DreamWorks executives are so thrilled with what they think they have they’ve hired the original writer – John Gatins – to start work on a second, according to Deadline Hollywood. they are also already contacting (according to this report) the main cast and crew for their possible return.

There are two ways to look at it. the less cynical version is that they think they’ve got a winner. Early reports from the set visits were positive, and it seems the film melds live action and digital effects in a way that’s as effective (perhaps more so) than the Transformers movies. As such, they’re just waiting for the film to come out and make so much cash that they have no choice to make another.

The more cynical version is this: scripts are cheap in the scheme of things, and negotiating now before release means they have more control over how much of a bump in salary everyone gets. Likely, the studio was not convinced that the film would be a franchise, and would have rather have deals settled now if they do go back. If the film performs like they think it will (and studios have some control over the final totals), then the deals are in place, and there’s no post-success headaches.

If a movie’s a huge hit, the talent’s asking prices usually go up, and they always goes up with a sequel. With superhero films and with anything studios think might be franchise-able, they often put options on performers and behind the scenes talents to make sure they will return for those films. It looks like DreamWorks didn’t cover their bases on this one, so they’re striking before the iron is too hot.

As we wait to see if the film delivers, check out the film’s trailer:

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Are you excited to watch Hugh Jackman train robots?