Dwayne Johnson to Play UFC Icon Mark Kerr in “The Smashing Machine”

Dwayne Johnson at the
Dwayne Johnson at the "Rampage" film premiere in 2018. Photo by J M Warren/SHM/REX/Shutterstock (9626351ah)

Dwayne Johnson has been dreaming about playing Mark Kerr for years, and his passion project is finally coming to life. The Rock is joining forces with the acclaimed director Benny Safdie for the upcoming biopic The Smashing Machine, inspired by the iconic UFC fighter.

Johnson has been eying the role in this project ever since his company Seven Bucks Productions acquired the rights in 2019. The Smashing Machine finally started taking shape when Benny Safdie came on board as its director, along with the acclaimed indie studio A24.

Safdie previously collaborated with A24 on his breakout film Uncut Gems with his brother Josh. Noah Sacco, the company’s head of film, said he’s looking forward to their next collaboration and added they’re deeply honored to have Johnson and Safdie bring this incredibly special project to life.

Johnson and his Seven Bucks’s production partner Dany Garcia are also executive producing the project, along with Eli Bush, David Koplan, and Safdie through Out for the Count.

The Smashing Machine will center on Mark Kerr’s struggle with addiction, winning, love, and friendship in 2000. The two-time UFC heavyweight champion has been previously the subject of an HBO documentary of the same name, which chronicled his addiction to painkillers and the “no holds barred” aspect of early MMA competitions.