Dwayne Johnson is The Smashing Machine in a first look at the MMA drama

Dwayne Johnson sits in the ring in The Smashing Machine.

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, is known for his big smile, ripped body, and trademark tattoos. However, Johnson has completely transformed his appearance to play Mark Kerr in The Smashing Machine.

A24 has released the first image of Johnson as Kerr, a former wrestler and MMA star who rose to prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Despite fighting for a living, Kerr’s biggest battles came outside of the sport as he struggled with drug addiction and marital problems. As Kerr, Johnson is seen with no tattoos and a full head of hair as he sits in the corner of the ring while trainers work on his body.

“The Smashing Machine follows Mark Kerr, the legendary MMA fighter from the no-holds-barred era of the UFC at the peak of his career,” the official synopsis reads. “He struggles with addiction, winning, love, and friendship in the year 2000.”

Kerr’s fascinating life was previously portrayed in HBO’s documentary,The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr.

Johnson’s co-star in The Smashing Machine is Emily Blunt. The actress is seen in the bottom-right corner of the image looking at Kerr. Blunt stars as Kerr’s wife, Dawn Staples. “While trying to set up a life together, she struggles to find her place within Mark’s chaotic and contradictory world,” per A24. Blunt and Johnson previously starred together in 2021’s Jungle Cruise.

The Smashing Machine marks a major change of direction for Johnson. Over the last five years, the WWE superstar has predominantly starred in expensive blockbusters, including Black Adam, Red Notice, Jumanji: The Next Level, and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & ShawThe Smashing Machine is one of Johnson’s first dramatic roles in over a decade.

The Smashing Machine stems from Benny Safdie, who writes, directs, and produces the A24 drama. This marks Safdie’s solo feature directorial debut. Benny is one half of the Safdie Brothers alongside his brother Josh. The Safdie Brothers are best known for directing Uncut Gems and Good Time.

The Smashing Machine is now filming. It has no official release date as of press time.