A Biopic Of UFC Fighter Mark Kerr
We all know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started his career as a professional wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation (now called WWE). Now, the Hollywood A-lister will be stepping back into the ring for Smashing Machine, a new biopic that will see the wrestler playing two-time UFC champion Mark Kerr.
Kerr, also known as “The Specimen” and “The Titan,” became a fighting champion when UFC was still a rising sport. He won the World Vale Tudo Championship tournament and two heavyweight UFC titles. His career and successes were chronicled in the 2003 HBO documentary, also titled Smashing Machine, as was his addiction to painkillers.
Here’s the trailer for the movie:
The documentary is fairly graphic, with footage of Kerr injecting drugs, the brutal injuries he sustained, as well as Kerr’s battles with addictions, and eventual treatment and rehab.
While announcing the project, Johnson said (via MMAFighting.com):
“Mark Kerr’s story is such an incredible story. Here’s a guy who won the two-time heavyweight tournament in the early stages of UFC, and here’s a guy who also went over to PRIDE, (and) he had this incredible run, as many of these warriors have. And I wanted to shine a spotlight on this man.”
Kerr himself will consult on the project, but that doesn’t mean it will be this picture-perfect portrayal of success as a fighter. Johnson wants to focus on both his impressive fighting career along with the struggles that come with it, saying:
“I think what’s interesting about Mark Kerr’s story is, yes, he achieved so much in his life, (and) he was a ‘Smashing Machine,’ undefeated for a long time. But also like all of us and like a lot of these fighters, he battled these demons. These demons of addiction, these demons of mental health, these demons of getting out and the pressure of fighting in front of 20, 30, 40, 50,000 people and what that does to somebody.”