Oleksandr Usyk will play in a Hollywood movie with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Actor Dwayne Johnson is set to star as Mark Kerr, a two-time UFC champion, in the upcoming film "The Smashing Machine." Directed by Benny Safdie, the movie will explore Kerr's personal life and career challenges, including his struggle with drugs. The first look of Johnson in character was shared on Instagram on May 22, 2024.

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Johnson's transformation for the role is striking. He sports a short, dark wig and no tattoos, a departure from his usual appearance. The image posted shows him sitting in the corner of a ring, fully embracing the gritty world of mixed martial arts. This role marks another significant physical transformation for Johnson, who previously wrestled as "The Rock" in WWE.

Additional casting, according to IMDb, includes Oleksandr Usyk, portraying Igor Vovchanchyn against whom Kerr had significant matches. Usyk is an actual Ukrainian world heavyweight boxing champion adding authenticity to his role.

Igor Vovchanchyn, known as the original Ice Man and the Ukraine Freight Train, dominated the late 1990s and early 2000s as a feared striker in heavyweight MMA despite his height of only 5ft 8ins. A formidable figure in the ring, Vovchanchyn's influence remains so potent that even Fedor Emelianenko is said to have mirrored his punching style.

The year 2000 was crucial for Vovchanchyn as he participated in the Pride 2000 Grand Prix. He started strong by defeating Gary Goodridge and Kazushi Sakuraba but ultimately faced defeat against Mark Coleman by submission in the final round.

Ryan Bader, a real-life Bellator MMA champion has been cast as Mark Coleman.

Benny Safdie’s direction aims to bring out the raw intensity and reality of a fighter's life both inside and outside the ring. The film’s narrative draws inspiration from the 2002 documentary that highlighted these aspects of Kerr's life vividly.