‘The Rock’ transforms into Mark Kerr in first look at new film ‘The Smashing Machine’

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has performed in some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters in recent history but he’ll take a stab at a film that might eventually get some Oscar buzz after transforming into MMA legend Mark Kerr for the new movie The Smashing Machine.

On Tuesday, A24, the independent studio producing the film, released a first look at Johnson as Kerr with production already underway on the project. Johnson stars as Kerr, a two-time UFC tournament champion who struggled with drug addiction throughout his career.

The new photo also shows off recent Academy Award nominee Emily Blunt, who stars in the film alongside Johnson as she plays Kerr’s longtime girlfriend and now ex-wife, Dawn Staples. She also appeared prominently in the 2002 documentary of the same name that serves loosely as the basis for the upcoming movie.

In addition to Johnson looking like Kerr in the new photo from the film, he also got a chance to work with 55-year-old Ohio native as he continued his training to add authenticity to his portrayal of a former MMA champion.

Johnson showed off photos working alongside Kerr as he continues training even as production on the film gets underway.

The Smashing Machine is directed by Benny Safdie in his first solo outing after previously partnering with brother Josh Safdie on projects like Uncut Gems, which also received some Oscar buzz. Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader also stars in the upcoming film after revealing that he was putting his fight career on hold for a few months after landing a role in the project.

There’s no release date for The Smashing Machine just yet but the film will likely land in theaters sometime in 2025.

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