Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has found out which movie he will be starring in next. According to Variety, Johnson will star as MMA fighter Mark Kerr in an upcoming film. This will be the first role for Johnson that will be strictly dramatic after being in action, comedies and children's films. Along with starring in the film, Johnson will produce it. Right now, the film is in the early stages of production so no studio is attached to the film yet.
“Mark Kerr’s story is such an incredible story,” Johnson said, when telling his fans at Madison Square Garden, after he made the surprise announcement Friday night that he’d be portraying Kerr on film. “Like all of us, and like a lot of these fighters, he battled these demons — these demons of addiction, these demons of mental health, these demons of getting out and the pressure of fighting in front of 50,000 people and what that does to somebody. Here’s a guy who has gone through it all, hit rock bottom, but the best part about Mark Kerr is that, like all of us in this room and all these fighters, these warriors, is that every day, we get up and we want to do a little bit better tomorrow than we did today.”
Johnson said he talked to Kerr about playing him in an upcoming film and he was 100 percent on board with it. Johnson made the announcement at a surprise press conference just one day before UFC 244 where he was the guest presenter. The Hobbs and Shaw star was asked what made him want to play Kerr on the big screen and he said it's an opportunity to pay respect to a legend in the sport.
“It’s a dramatic role, but Mark lives a dramatic life. It’s an opportunity to shine a light on one of our warriors, who not only deserves it, but who has such universal appeal and a universal story," Johnson said.
Kerr was considered the best fighter in the world during the prime of his career. He won the UFC Heavyweight title twice but he also had some dark times in his career. He was featured in the 2003 HBO documentary called The Smashing Machine, and it chronicled his career as well as his addiction to painkillers.