Dwayne Johnson steps into the ring as MMA icon Mark Kerr in a first-look image for Benny Safdie’s The Smashing Machine

Dwayne Johnson becomes the iconic MMA fighter Mark Kerr in a first-look image for A24 and Benny Safdie’s The Smashing Machine.

Last Updated on May 22, 2024

Dwayne Johnson The Smashing Machine

Prepare for a double-take because Dwayne Johnson looks different without his signature bald head in a first-look image for A24‘s The Smashing Machine. Johnson plays MMA icon Mark Kerr in the upcoming drama from Benny Safdie (Uncut GemsOppenheimerGo Get Some Rosemary), and today, he’s getting in the ring for what could be his most challenging role. In The Smashing Machine’s first-look image, Johnson’s Mark Kerr takes a seat to recuperate during a heated match. As a ring girl previews the fight’s next round, Kerr’s coach tells the fighter to breathe as a coach barks encouraging words.

Mark Kerr is a former American wrestler and mixed martial artist. As a two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion, World Vale Tudo Championship tournament winner, a PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion, 1992 NCAA National Wrestling Champion, 1994 National Freestyle Champion, and 4x ADCC World Submission Champion, Kerr is one of the biggest badasses to ever get into the ring.

In addition to his directorial duties, Safdie co-wrote the script, focusing on Kerr’s struggle with addiction, victory, love, and friendship in the year 2000. Likely to veer into more severe territory, The Smashing Machine gives Johnson a rare opportunity to flex his drama muscles for cameras. While some could be confused about what that looks like, Safdie is known for bringing the best out of his film stars.

“Dwayne and Benny are singular talents, and their shared vision for Mark’s inspiring story is electrifying,” said Noah Sacco of A24. “We are deeply honored to have their trust as collaborators in bringing this incredibly special project to life.”

It’s been ages since I’ve seen Dwayne Johnson with a full head of hair, and I’m not going to lie; it’s kinda freaking me out. It’s amazing how a quality hairpiece can change someone’s appearance. I wonder how long Johnson marveled at his fresh crop in the mirror after the hair and makeup team finished working their magic?

What do you think about Johnson’s look in The Smashing Machine image? Are you excited to see Kerr’s story come to life on the silver screen? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Twitter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.