The Rock Will Play UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion In New Documentary

In a surprising career switch, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Fast & Furious, Black Adam) moves from WWE to playing heavyweight tournament champion Mark Kerr in a new documentary, The Smashing Machine.

The Rock WWE

Mark Kerr is a two-time UFC heavyweight tournament champion who was previously featured in a HBO documentary of the same name, which covered Kerr’s struggle with substance abuse, relationships, and his triumphs in the Octagon. The Smashing Machine will be Benny Safdie’s solo directorial debut, and The Rock shared his enthusiasm on working with Safdie, saying that he was the “perfect, collaborative, hungry partner for me.”

The Rock is a WWE wrestler and previously starred in more family-friendly films, though he welcomes the move, wanting to play more challenging roles and star in films that explore humanity, struggle, and pain.

“Benny wants to create, and continues to push the envelope when it comes to stories that are raw and real, characters that are authentic and at times uncomfortable and arresting. I’m at a point in my career where I want to push myself in ways that I’ve not pushed myself in the past. I’m at a point in my career where I want to make films that matter, that explore a humanity and explore struggle [and] pain,” he said.

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A24, the studio attached to the project, has high hopes for the film. “Dwayne and Benny are singular talents, and their shared vision for Mark’s inspiring story is electrifying,” A24 executive Noah Sacco said in a statement. “We are deeply honoured to have their trust as collaborators in bringing this incredibly special project to life.”