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Sunday, June 23, 2024  
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Smashing Machine first look: Dwayne Johnson transforms into MMA icon Mark Kerr

Kerr was a two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion
Dwayne Johnson unrecognizable in upcoming The Smashing Machine . Photo via Instagram
Dwayne Johnson unrecognizable in upcoming The Smashing Machine . Photo via Instagram

Dwayne Johnson is nearly unrecognizable in the first look at his upcoming A24 drama “The Smashing Machine”, directed by Benny Safdie and co-starring Emily Blunt.

The film casts Johnson as legendary MMA fighter Mark Kerr, who struggled with addiction and his marriage while becoming an icon of the sport. Blunt is starring as Dawn Staples, Kerr’s wife. The film is currently in production.

While Johnson looks typically ripped as Kerr, he also appears to be sporting some facial prosthetics to help him transform into the MMA legend. Kerr was a two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion and World Vale Tudo Championship tournament winner, winning over two dozen MMA titles over the course of his career.

“The Smashing Machine” marks the solo feature directorial debut of Safdie, who collaborated with his brother Josh on A24 hits like “Good Time” and “Uncut Gems”. Benny Safdie and Johnson first connected on the project in 2019 but put it on hold due to the pandemic. Years later, Johnson’s co-star Emily Blunt encouraged him to make the film after watching the 2002 documentary “The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr”.

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Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions are producing the film alongside Safdie’s Out for the Count banner, Eli Bush and David Koplan. A24 has not yet announced a release date for “The Smashing Machine”.

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Dwayne Johnson

MMA

Smashing Machine