Dwayne Johnson To Play Legendary MMA Star In Upcoming Biopic
When it comes to combat sports, Dwayne Johnson is mostly known for pro wrestling. However, the former WWE performer — and current Hollywood megastar — revealed on Friday that he is set to play Mark Kerr in an upcoming biopic about the UFC legend’s life and career.
As documented by The Hollywood Reporter, the A-lister broke the news at the New York press conference for UFC 244, where he will present the Baddest MF title to the winner of the Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal fight.
The as-yet-untitled biopic will be produced by Johnson’s Seven Bucks company. Kerr will also be involved in some capacity.
Speaking about the project, Johnson revealed that he was inspired by the 2002 documentary, The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr. The HBO film explores the trials and tribulations of Kerr’s career, which unfortunately saw him develop a painkiller addiction throughout the years.
“I was drawn to this because he has such a compelling story. Yes, he achieved so much in his life, but like all of us, like all of these fighters, he battled these demons.”
Most electrifying @ufc event of 2019.
Im a lucky SOB to present the “Baddest MF” title to the winner of @GamebredFighter vs @NateDiaz209.
Madison Square Garden erupts. #UFC244 #BMFTitle #DiazMasvidal TOMORROW NIGHT!! #ppv pic.twitter.com/i2GzisvZSJ
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 1, 2019
At the time of this writing, there is no word on when the movie will start filming. Johnson has several upcoming projects on his plate already, with Jumanji: The Next Level and Jungle Cruise hitting theaters in the coming months. He’s also pressing ahead with the long-gestating Black Adam superhero movie next summer.
However, Kerr will make a fine subject for a biopic. He is considered a legendary heavyweight fighter in the mixed-martial arts world, having rose to prominence in 1997 by winning back-to-back UFC tournaments and being hailed as the best competitor in the world.
After competing in Dana White’s promotion, Kerr made the jump to PRIDE and had another incredible run there. He won a total of 12 fights before eventually losing to Kazuyuki Fujita in the PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 final via the judge’s decision.
After that loss, Kerr only won three of his 13 subsequent MMA fights before eventually hanging up his gloves in 2009. He also experienced health issues during that time — such as high blood pressure — that forced him to cancel a scheduled fight against former WWE star Sean O’Haire.
Unlike many of his peers, Kerr has managed to stay retired since calling an end to his MMA career. At 50-years-old, his best days are behind him. However, as noted by Sherdog, he previously stated that he’s “99 percent” sure that he’s retired. Perhaps there is a small chance that he’s considering another outing in an octagon.