Wrestling fan or not, you’re in for a treat. The first trailer for A24’s The Iron Claw has suplexed its way into existence, revealing a torrid story of muscles, mayhem and a whole lot of family drama. Starring Zac Efron and The Bear‘s Jeremy Allen White, the upcoming sports drama is a gripping retelling of the legendary Von Erich brothers, the feathered hair and taut shirt combo that dominated the wrestling arena for years.
Helmed by Sean Durkin, The Iron Claw takes fans back to the 1980s, capturing professional wrestling’s wild rise and fall while demonstrating the Von Erich brothers’ lasting impact on the sport. Beyond the thrilling in-ring action, the film will also explore the off-the-mat challenges that have haunted the group, a series of tragedies famously known as the ‘Von Erich curse.’
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.”
Zac Efron stars as Kevin Von Erich, with Jeremy Allen White as his brother Kerry. The supporting cast includes Harris Dickinson and Stanley Simons, who portray the brothers David and Mike, respectively. Maura Tierney and Holt McCallany play the parents, Doris and Fritz and the film also feature Lily James as Pam Adkisson Maxwell, Jacob Friedman as Lance Von Erich, Brady Pierce as Michael Hayes, Aaron Dean Eisenberg as Ric Flair, Kevin Anton as Harley Race, Cazzey Louis Cereghino as Bruiser Brody, Chavo Guerrero Jr. as The Sheik and Ryan Nemeth as Gino Hernandez in the cast.
The film’s first trailer offers a peek into the close bond between the brothers, united by their shared love for wrestling, which they believe shields them from the supposed family curse. However, as time goes on, their relationship strains due to their demanding father, leading to dire consequences and the downfall of their influential wrestling family.
The trailer is set to the song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult and opens with Zac Efron’s Kevin running the ropes, a common pre-match ritual for wrestlers to get pumped up. In the trailer, Efron’s Kevin Von Erich reflects on the family’s history and their belief in wrestling as a way to protect themselves from the supposed curse.
“Ever since I was a child, people said My family was cursed. Mom tried to protect us with God. Pop tried to protect us with wrestling. He said if we were the toughest, strongest, nothing could ever hurt us. I believed it. We all did,” says Efron’s Kevin.
The trailer then goes on to show how their father, Fritz Von Erich (Holt McCallany), guided the brothers in shaping their family’s wrestling legacy. At one point, Fritz even lists them in order of his favouritism: Kerry (Jeremy Allen White) first, followed by Kevin (Efron), then David (Harris Dickinson), and the youngest, Mike (Stanley Simons). “But the rankings can always change,” says McCallany’s Fritz Von Erich.
Throughout the trailer, we get a glimpse of the Von Erich brothers both inside and outside the wrestling ring as they confront opponents and their own personal challenges. Later in the clip, David declares, “We’re here to restore justice to the wresting federation that our father built with his own two hands. The hands that were passed down to us. The hands that will deliver the iron claw down to you.”
However, as they push forward with their mission, the physical and emotional strain takes a toll on their already weary bodies. When they turn to their mother (Maura Tierney) for support, explaining that their father is pushing them too hard, she simply replies, “Baby, that’s what your brothers are for.”
With the weight of their personal challenges and the enduring legacy of their family, especially as Kevin starts a family of his own with his wife, Pam Adkisson (Lily James), the brothers begin to crumble under the strain. A24 and House Productions are co-financing and producing ‘The Iron Claw,‘ with further support from Access Entertainment and BBC Film.
The production team is led by Tessa Ross, Juliette Howell, and Angus Lamont from House Productions, alongside Sean Durkin and A24. Executive producers for the project are Derrin Schlesinger, Harrison Huffman from House Productions, Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen from Access Entertainment, and Eva Yates from BBC Film. A24’s ‘The Iron Claw’ is slated to hit theatres on December 22.
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