Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Boxer Oleksandr Usyk Joins Dwayne Johnson In ‘The Smashing Machine’ From A24 And Benny Safdie

EXCLUSIVE: Following his massive victory against Tyson Fury to become the newly crowned Undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Oleksandr Usyk has found his next opponent on the big screen as he is set to join the cast of A24’s The Smashing Machine as MMA legend Igor Vovchanchyn. The film stars Dwayne Johnson and Academy Award-nominated Emily Blunt.

The pic is written and directed by Benny Safdie and produced and financed by A24. The film is based on the story of Mark Kerr, the legendary MMA fighter from the no-holds-barred era of the UFC at the peak of his career. He struggles with addiction, winning, love and friendship in the year 2000.

More from Deadline

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in A24's  'The Smashing Machine'
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in A24’s ‘The Smashing Machine’

The news comes after Johnson revealed the first image from the film which features an unrecognizable Johnson in the corner of the ring getting ready for a match. The image got the internet buzzing and this news is sure to have a similar response.

Kerr is an American former wrestler and mixed martial artist. During his MMA career he was a two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion, World Vale Tudo Championship tournament winner, a PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion, 1992 NCAA National Wrestling Champion, 1994 National Freestyle Champion and 4x ADCC World Submission Champion. In 2003, Kerr was the subject of an HBO documentary titled The Smashing Machine, which detailed his MMA career fighting in Vale Tudo, the UFC and PRIDE.

Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions will produce alongside Safdie’s Out for the Count banner, Eli Bush and David Koplan. Johnson and Safdie have been collaborators on the project since Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions acquired the rights in 2019 and will produce together. A24 has joined as a partner.

The film will mark Usyk’s acting debut and it comes after his split decision victory against Fury which excited fans across the world this past weekend. While Fury has been the face of the division for the past several years, the decisive victory that included a round where Usyk battered Fury into a near knockdown has now made Usyk the new star of the sport.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.