./uploads/advanced-cache.php Dwayne Johnson Transforms into MMA Legend Mark Kerr for A24’s “The Smashing Machine”

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Dwayne Johnson Transforms into MMA Legend Mark Kerr for A24’s “The Smashing Machine”

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars in "The Smashing Machine," directed by Benny Safdie, portraying MMA fighter Mark Kerr. Co-starring Emily Blunt, the film explores Kerr's life and struggles. Release date to be announced soon.

Dwayne Johnson The Smashing Machine Mark Kerr

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is set to star in a gritty new drama from A24, “The Smashing Machine.” Directed by Benny Safdie, the film will see Johnson undergo a dramatic physical transformation to portray real-life MMA fighter Mark Kerr, the legend who battled addiction and personal turmoil while rising to iconic status in the sport. The film also co-stars The Rock’s “Jungle Cruise” partner Emily Blunt as she takes on the role of Dawn Staples, Kerr’s wife, in a story that delves deep into the complexities of Kerr’s life both inside and outside the ring.

Dwayne Johnson looks unrecognisable in The Smashing Machine

In the initial images from “The Smashing Machine,” Johnson, known for his muscular physique, appears to have undergone a significant transformation, aided by facial prosthetics to authentically portray Kerr, who was a dominant force in his prime. Trained in mixed martial arts Kerr won two UFC Heavyweight Tournaments and over two dozen MMA titles throughout his career. This role marks a significant departure for Johnson, who is popularly known for his action hero and superhero roles.

Solo directorial debut of Benny Safdie

Benny Safdie, The Smashing Machine

“The Smashing Machine” marks Benny Safdie’s solo feature directorial debut. Safdie, who has previously collaborated with his brother Josh on A24’s acclaimed films like “Good Time” and “Uncut Gems,” brings a unique vision to this project. He also recently shared the screen with Blunt in Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning “Oppenheimer.”

The journey to bring “The Smashing Machine” to the big screen began in 2019 when Johnson and Safdie first connected on the project. However, the film was put on hold due to the pandemic. The idea was revived years later during a conversation between Johnson and Blunt, where Blunt mentioned watching the 2002 documentary “The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr” and encouraged Johnson to pursue the film.

“The Smashing Machine” is a collaboration between Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions, Safdie’s Out for the Count banner, and A24. While a release date hasn’t been announced, anticipation is high for this unique team-up and Johnson’s portrayal of the complex MMA legend.


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