Dwayne Johnson To Produce And Star In UFC Fighter Biopic Smashing Machine

Dwayne Johnson

by James White |
Published on

Before he was one of the world's biggest stars, Dwayne Johnson was best known as a wrestler. Yet while he never actively competed in another big brawling sport, Ultimate Fighting Championship, he's a big fan. And he made an appearance at a UFC pre-fight press conference to announce that he'll bring the story of pioneering fighter Mark Kerr to the screen in a biopic called Smashing Machine.

Here's what the man forever known as The Rock had to say: "Mark Kerr’s story is such an incredible story. Here’s a guy who won the two-time heavyweight tournament in the early stages of UFC, and here’s also a guy who also went over to PRIDE. He had this incredible run, as many of these warriors have, and I wanted to shine a spotlight on this man."

This will mark a shift from Johnson's action and comedy genres to something with a heftier dose of drama in its story, given Kerr's struggles with addiction to painkillers. "I think what’s interesting about Mark Kerr’s story is, yes, he achieved so much in his life, he was a Smashing Machine, undefeated for a long time," Johnson said. "But also like all of us and like a lot of these fighters, he battled these demons. These demons of addiction, these demons of mental health, these demons of getting out and the pressure of fighting in front of 20, 30, 40, 50,000 people and what that does to somebody. So here’s a guy who has gone through it all and hit rock bottom, but the best part about Mark Kerr, like all of us in this room — and like these fighters by the way, all these warriors — everyday you get up, and you want to do a little bit better tomorrow than you did today."

No studio is attached yet, but Johnson is developing the idea with his Seven Bucks team. While the challenging subject matter and more brutally honest tone could be a harder sell for companies more used to his blockbuster style, there's still plenty of possibilities here. Johnson will be back on our screens with Jumanji: The Next Level, due on 11 December.

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