Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson unrecognisable in latest role as legendary MMA fighter

Dwayne Johnson has released a first look at his latest film role, showing off his shocking transformation into troubled MMA fighter, Mark Kerr.

The photo, which was shared by The Rock and entertainment company A24 on social media, shows Johnson sporting facial prosthetics to transform the former WWE star into the MMA and wrestling champion for the Benny Safdie-directed biopic, The Smashing Machine.

UK actor Emily Blunt, Johnson’s Jungle Cruise co-star, will be playing Kerr’s wife Dawn Staples.

Fans took to the comment section in awe over Johnson’s “unrecognisable” makeover, with one writing, “Yo the makeup team went crazy.”

Another said, “Give the makeup team the award now.”

A third wrote, “That’s some crazy transformation wow.”

“Is that you, Rock?” a fourth asked. “Nice work by the prosthetics and make up team.”

The Smashing Machine will centre on the MMA champion’s struggles with addiction and love at the height of his career in 2000.

Kerr was previously the subject of the 2002 HBO documentary The Smashing Machine, which explored his substance abuse as well as his friendship with MMA fighter Mark Coleman.

The biopic and sports drama marks Safdie’s solo debut without his brother and frequent collaborator, Josh Safdie, with whom he’d created the A24 hits Uncut Gems and Good Time.

The Smashing Machine was announced in December 2023, but Johnson’s production company Seven Bucks Productions acquired the rights to the story in 2019, Deadline reports.

Safdie wrote the screenplay and will co-produce alongside Johnson.

Johnson spoke of his upcoming collaboration with Safdie in an interview with Variety.

“Benny wants to create, and continues to push the envelope when it comes to stories that are raw and real, characters that are authentic and at times uncomfortable and arresting,” he said.

“I’m at a point in my career where I want to push myself in ways that I’ve not pushed myself in the past. I’m at a point in my career where I want to make films that matter, that explore a humanity and explore struggle [and] pain.”

He also revealed that Blunt reportedly encouraged him to adapt Kerr’s life story after watching the 2002 documentary, telling him, “You must make this movie.”

Production appears to be underway on the film. Johnson recently shared an inside look of the “training camp” he’s been undergoing to achieve Kerr’s brawny look.

“Training camp for Smashing Machine for the role and life of Mark Kerr two time @UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion World Vale Tudo Champion,” Johnson wrote alongside a series of pictures of him training in the ring.

“Learning, sweating daily – grateful to grow,” he added.

Johnson reportedly went to Cannes Film Festival to meet with prospective buyers for the film.

A release date for The Smashing Machine has not yet been announced.

This story originally appeared on Decider and was reproduced with permission

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