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'The Iron Claw' (2023) | Image: A24

A24 Drops First Look at Zac Efron & Jeremy Allen White Wrestling Biopic ‘The Iron Claw’

Break out the hairspray and lace up those high-tops, A24’s The Iron Claw is about to body slam its way onto big screens this holiday season. Directed by Sean Durkin, the upcoming sports drama is a gripping account based on a true story and stars fully toned-up versions of Zac Efron and The Bear‘s Jeremy Allen White.

Harris Dickinson, Zac Efron, Stanley Simmons and Jeremy Allen White in A24's The Iron Claw | Image: Eric Chakeen/A24
Harris Dickinson, Zac Efron, Stanley Simmons and Jeremy Allen White in A24’s The Iron Claw | Image: Eric Chakeen/A24

In the film, they bring to life the legendary wrestling dynasty of the Von Erich brothers. By all accounts, The Iron Claw will transport us back to the 1980s, vividly capturing the industry’s rise and fall, and highlighting the Von Erich brothers’ lasting impact on the sport. Beyond the gripping in-ring action, the movie will also delve deep into the off-the-mat challenges that haunted the group—a series of tragedies famously known as the ‘Von Erich curse.’.

The Iron Claw is co-financed and produced by A24 and House Productions, with additional support from Access Entertainment and BBC Film. Although the film is currently in post-production (per Variety), A24 recently teased an exciting first-look image featuring the star cast involved in the movie, which stars Zac Efron as Kevin Von Erich, while Jeremy Allen White takes on the role of Kerry Von Erich.

The film also stars Harris Dickinson as David Von Erich, Holt McCallany as Fritz Von Erich, Maura Tierney as the family matriarch Doris, and Lily James as Kevin’s wife Pam. The ensemble cast includes Brady Pierce, Aaron Dean Eisenberg, Kevin Anton, Cazzey Louis Cereghino, Chavo Guerrero Jr., and Ryan Nemeth. Set predominantly in the ’80s, The Iron Claw promises to capture the era when the Von Erichs held dominion over the wrestling scene.

Kevin Von Erich wrestles Terry Gordy, while referee Bronko Lubich watches on (1982) | Image: Dallas News
Kevin Von Erich wrestles Terry Gordy, while referee Bronko Lubich watches on (1982) | Image: Dallas News

The Von Erich wrestling legacy started with Jack Adkisson, also known as Fritz Von Erich, who rose to WWE stardom with the Iron Claw hold. His sons followed in his footsteps, but the family was struck by tragedy with unexpected deaths and suicides. However, the Von Erich name remains synonymous with wrestling greatness, which also led to their induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

As per the official synopsis for The Iron Claw from A24, “The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. Through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach, the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest stage in sports.”

In a recent interview with Esquire earlier this year, Jeremy Allen White opened up about the rigorous physical preparation he underwent to portray a peak-form athlete. He explained, “(I was) eating all the time. Like, never stopping,” White said. “You’re trying to consume as much as you possibly can, and, to be honest, you don’t feel great. I was training as well, but, I don’t know, trying to get that big, it’s no way to live.”

Zac Efron on the set of 'The Iron Claw' (2023) | Image: Mega
Zac Efron on the set of ‘The Iron Claw’ (2023) | Image: Mega

White also shared how helpful it was to have Zac Efron, who has previous experience in bulking up for roles, saying, “Zac’s a maniac. He’s so focused and knowledgeable on training, diet, all that. In terms of a physical transformation, I think he kind of blew us all out of the water.”

The team of producers behind The Iron Claw includes Tessa Ross, Juliette Howell, Angus Lamont from House Productions, as well as Durkin and A24. Serving as executive producers are Derrin Schlesinger and Harrison Huffman from House Productions, Len Blavatnik and Danny Cohen from Access Entertainment, and Eva Yates from BBC Film.

The Iron Claw (see trailer) is all set to hit theatres on December 22 exclusively in the US. As of writing, there’s no word on the movie’s premiere in Australia or elsewhere outside the US.