Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White are hitting the gym and stepping into the wrestling ring for A24’s upcoming sports biopic, “The Iron Claw.” Directed by Sean Durkin, the film follows Efron as wrestler Kevin Von Erich, the Golden Warrior, a member of the famed Von Erich wrestling dynasty. Whiteâ€™s co-stars as Kerry Von Erich, Kevin’s brother, who also competed in the heavyweight division. Holt McCallany stars as Fritz Von Erich, Kevin and Kerry’s father and a three-time world champion. The film delves into the lives of the family members and explores the rise and fall of this influential wrestling family. Lily James, Maura Tierney, and Harris Dickinson also feature in the film.
Before the trailer release, both Efron and White made headlines for their remarkable physical transformations for their roles. Efron’s muscular physique and Von Erich-inspired bowl cut became subjects of social media humor. White shared that he worked hard to put on 40 pounds of muscle for his character.
While Efron is known for his work in musicals and comedies, this is his latest dramatic biopic, following his portrayal of Ted Bundy in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.” White is renowned for his beloved TV characters, like Philip Gallagher in “Shameless” and chef Carmy Berzato in FX’s hit series “The Bear.”
Writer-director Sean Durkin, known for his critically acclaimed psychological dramas, including “The Nest” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” takes on this gripping family story. The Von Erichs achieved wrestling championships but also faced a series of tragedies in their personal lives, with five of Fritz’s six sons passing away before the age of 33, including three by suicide.
“The Iron Claw” is a production of A24, BBC Films, House Productions, and Access Entertainment, set for a theatrical release on December 22.