Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is gearing up for another exciting role in Hollywood, this time portraying an MMA fighter in a drama produced by A24, the same studio behind “The Iron Claw,” a film chronicling the Von Erich family’s story, released in 2023.

Teaming up with director Benny Safdie, known for his work on “Uncut Gems,” The Rock will take on the role of Mark Kerr, a two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion, in the upcoming film titled “The Smashing Machine.”

Safdie is also penning the project, with production led by Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions, Safdie’s Out for the Count banner, along with Eli Bush and David Koplan.

“The Smashing Machine” draws inspiration from the HBO documentary of the same name released in 2002, which delved into Kerr’s professional journey and his ascent in MMA, juxtaposed with his struggles with addiction to painkillers, culminating in a near-fatal overdose. Kerr earned the moniker “The Smashing Machine” due to his aggressive fighting style.


According to reports from Pwinsider, filming for the movie is slated to commence on May 1, 2024, and conclude on August 1, 2024, spanning a three-month production schedule. Filming locations are set to include Los Angeles, New Mexico, Tokyo, and Vancouver.

Joining The Rock in the cast is Emily Blunt, who will portray Kerr’s wife, Dawn Staples, with additional casting currently underway.

Amidst his Hollywood endeavors, The Rock is also set to make a highly anticipated return to the wrestling ring at WrestleMania 40, teaming up with Roman Reigns against Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes on the event’s first night in April.

While WWE is eager to have him participate in another match later in the year, fans eagerly await his upcoming cinematic portrayal of Mark Kerr in “The Smashing Machine.”

How do you think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s portrayal of Mark Kerr in “The Smashing Machine” will compare to his previous roles, especially considering the intense and gritty nature of Kerr’s story? Let us know in the comments below.

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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