“The Rock” has started work on his next movie The Smashing Machine. 

Dwayne Johnson revealed he was beginning work on the MMA biopic, this week, following his three-month return to the WWE.

Johnson claimed he had made wrestling cool again during this period. WrestleMania 40 was an overwhelming success thanks in part to “The Rock’s” in-ring return. Viewership, social media engagement, and live attendance all set new records for WWE WrestleMania. 

“The Rock” also shared details of his extensive 12-week WrestleMania 40 training camp and heaped praise on Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins in this video on X. 

WWE is also experiencing a record run of consecutive TV sellouts. But the company will have to do without Johnson as he commits to telling the gritty story of MMA star Mark Kerr. Here’s everything we can expect from The Smashing Machine movie. 

The Smashing Machine Mark Kerr

The Smashing Machine will tell the story of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Champion Mark Kerr. 

Johnson will play the lead role of Kerr, who struggled at the height of his fame with an opioid addiction.

Johnson is a board member of TKO Holding Group, the holding company that owns both the UFC and the WWE. 

The Smashing Machine is based on the 2002 documentary of the same name. It follows Kerr at the height of his MMA career while reliant on pain medication. He also has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend Dawn Staples as he attempts to get clean. Dawn is an addict who struggles with alcohol abuse. 

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Emily Blunt is rumored to play the role of Dawn Staples across from Johnson as Kerr. 

The Smashing Machine was written by Benny Safdie along with Kerr. It will be directed by Safdie. Safdie has appeared as an actor in movies including Oppenheimer and Liquorice Pizza. 



Who Was Mark Kerr?

Kerr was a celebrated college wrestler and childhood WWE fan. He went on to win Gold at the 1994 World Cup and Silver at the 1996 Pan American Games.

However, he missed out on the 1996 USA Olympic Wrestling team. Kurt Angle would famously win Gold for the USA at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kerr switched to MMA and joined the UFC. His first tournament was at UFC 14 where he won the World Heavyweight title. The UFC was banned in various States as US Senator John McCain deemed it ‘human cockfighting’. It continued as an underground sport. 

Kerr began fighting in the Japanese promotion Pride Fighting Championship to benefit from better pay. It will be this period of his life that the movie is likely to focus on. 

The Smashing Machine is a joint production between A24 – the studio behind The Iron Claw – and Seven Bucks Productions and Flynn Picture Company. 

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