Dwayne Johnson Is Unrecognizable In ‘Smashing Machine’ First Look


Believe it or not, that is Dwayne Johnson — sans tattoos and with a bunch of hair, along with some truly impressive prosthetic makeup — in the first photo of his upcoming film The Smashing Machine. If I didn’t know it was The Rock, I honestly would not recognize him.

The film was written and directed by Benny Safdie (solo, without his brother Josh, who has been his typical collaborator since the beginning of their shared filmmaking careers) and based on the life of former MMA fighter Mark Kerr. The Smashing Machine was previously the title of a documentary about Kerr from 2002.

In Safdie’s film, Johnson plays Kerr while Emily Blunt — who previously appeared with The Rock in Disney’s Jungle Cruise — plays Kerr’s wife Dawn Staples.

Blunt is a bit hard to spot in the smaller version of the photo, but that’s her looking up at Johnson as Kerr in the lower right corner of the full image.

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In an interesting footnote here, the Smashing Machine documentary was directed by John Hyams — who went on to make one of some really good fictional movies that feature mixed martial artists, including Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

The real Kerr fought in UFC in its early days but made his biggest impact (no pun intended) working for Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships. But Kerr also struggled with drug addiction as a result of his brutal fighting style and the toll it took on his body. Safdie’s film will supposedly chronicle both his in-ring triumphs, and his personal struggles with substance abuse.

A24 has yet to announced a release date for The Smashing Machine, but the film is still currently in production.

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