‘The Smashing Machine’: Dwayne Johnson Is Unrecognizable As Mark Kerr In Upcoming Sports Drama

It was five years ago when Dwayne Johnson first set out to play UFC legend Mark Kerr in sports drama The Smashing Machine. Late last year, the project finally got moving with the addition of director Benny Safdie, and Johnson’s Jungle Cruise co-star Emily Blunt. And now just a few months later, we’ve got our first look at Johnson in the role, and he is unrecognizable.

A24 has revealed the first image from The Smashing Machine, with Johnson in the role of Mark Kerr. If you were to look at this shot quickly, you’d be forgiven for not recognizing Johnson at all. It’s kind of shocking, actually, especially when one considers how conscious Johnson is of his image and keeping his face out there in the limelight. Clearly, he is shooting for the awards season here. You can also see Emily Blunt down there in the corner.

Kerr is a former two-time UFC champion and PRIDE fighter, whose life and career, his struggles with substance abuse, were previously highlighted in the HBO documentary also titled The Smashing Machine.

A24 has yet to give the film a release date, but I’m willing to bet the strategy will be similar to what they did for The Iron Claw last year.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.