BLACK ADAM Star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Is Unrecognizable In First Look At A24's THE SMASHING MACHINE

BLACK ADAM Star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Is Unrecognizable In First Look At A24's THE SMASHING MACHINE BLACK ADAM Star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Is Unrecognizable In First Look At A24's THE SMASHING MACHINE

A first look at Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in A24's The Smashing Machine has been revealed, and the actor looks near-unrecognisable in a role many feel is Oscar-bait similar to Bradley Cooper's Maestro...

By JoshWilding - May 21, 2024 06:05 PM EST
Filed Under: Other

Like many ageing action stars before him, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has come to a point in his career where he has to make a decision.

He either continues starring in increasingly unsuccessful action flicks (even some of the genre's biggest icons found themselves relegated to direct-to-DVD fare later in their careers) or reinvents himself. After a few failed endeavours - including an attempted DCEU takeover with 2022's Black Adam - Johnson has gone with the latter option. 

That's so far included a WWE return, a public reconciliation with Fast & Furious star Vin Diesel, and signing up to star in A24 drama The Smashing Machine

Directed by Benny Safdie and co-starring his Jungle Cruise screen partner Emily Blunt, the movie marks a major departure for Johnson and should be a far more serious role which, if things go to plan, could see him vying for awards next year. 

As we first explained over on, The Smashing Machine tells the story of iconic MMA fighter Mark Kerr and his struggles with addiction and his marriage, all while putting MMA on the map as a two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion and World Vale Tudo Championship tournament winner.

Johnson is hitting all the expected marks for a role like this, including undergoing a major physical transformation which includes prosthetics to drastically change his appearance. He's never really starred in a "serious" drama, so how this pans out should be fascinating as he has shown signs of being more than an action hero.

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"Benny wants to create, and continues to push the envelope when it comes to stories that are raw and real, characters that are authentic and at times uncomfortable and arresting," Johnson previously said of The Smashing Machine"I’m at a point in my career where I want to push myself in ways that I’ve not pushed myself in the past."

"I’m at a point in my career where I want to make films that matter, that explore a humanity and explore struggle [and] pain."

"I want to be clear not to say that this is an abandonment of big, four-quadrant movies," he said of his run as the lead in countless blockbusters. "I love making them, and there is tremendous value and importance in [them] but there’s a time and a place for them. I’m at this point in my career where I want more."

"And I don’t mean I want more box office. I mean I want more humanity. And that is why Benny Safdie is the perfect, collaborative, hungry partner for me."

Take a closer look at Johnson's transformation into Mark Kerr below. The Smashing Machine is expected to be released in 2025.

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YouFlopped - 5/21/2024, 6:10 PM
This will be a career defining performance for the man the myth the legend.

S/O A24 🔥✊🏾💸
CaptainFlapjaks - 5/21/2024, 8:00 PM
@YouFlopped - not the biggest dwayne fan but its the safdies and a24. This might actually be a career defining performance from him. Weird thats its an mma movie though.
TheMarxican - 5/21/2024, 6:13 PM
Why does he look like a ‘roided up Elias Koteas?
TheLight - 5/21/2024, 6:18 PM
@TheMarxican - Blast you😂 now that's in my head canon.
theFUZZ008 - 5/21/2024, 7:15 PM
@TheMarxican - nice pull.
Batmangina - 5/21/2024, 7:21 PM
@TheMarxican - Casey Jones got the ooze and got JACKED 🤣
HashTagSwagg - 5/21/2024, 6:14 PM
He look's like a white Chris Evans
Se4M4NSt4ine - 5/21/2024, 6:43 PM
@HashTagSwagg - User Comment Image
bobevanz - 5/21/2024, 7:31 PM
@HashTagSwagg - you need new material
TheLight - 5/21/2024, 6:14 PM
Finally in a role in which he's playing someone other than himself👍.

In all seriousness, this will give him the right to truly put those acting chops to good use. Hopefully he'll have success.
Razorface1 - 5/21/2024, 6:41 PM
@TheLight - Hopefully he'll have acting chops.
dragon316 - 5/21/2024, 9:49 PM
@TheLight - now if only we can get Chris rock , Martin Lawrence, will feral , John c reily , Chris tucker, jack black , Kevin hart play in movie that is not them self for once
TheLight - 5/21/2024, 11:32 PM
@dragon316 - User Comment Image
Malatrova15 - 5/21/2024, 6:15 PM
he can smash me anytime , put his heriarchy all deep down on me
harryba11zack - 5/21/2024, 6:16 PM
Look like he could play Black Adam
marvel72 - 5/21/2024, 9:25 PM
@harryba11zack - He'd be perfect as Black Adam.
TheVisionary25 - 5/21/2024, 6:20 PM
Damn , Black Adam flopping at the B.O and his failed takeover of DC might have been the best thing that happened to him…

First he had a great comeback run in WWE that we’ll get more of in the future and now this so hopefully it works out (and with Benny Safdie at the helm & Emily Blunt by his side , it might just)!!.

User Comment Image

I’m actually looking forward to this!!.
TheMetaMan - 5/22/2024, 12:40 AM
@TheVisionary25 - Ben Safdie is a good actor I really like his work and Emily blunt can do no wrong. Looking forward to this. I know little about the athlete that the story is based on but Johnson undergoing a dramatic change in appearance has me intrigued. This might be one of his best films which says a lot about his acting credentials. Pain & gain is my favourite Dwayne Johnson film. It’s underrated and it’s also my favourite Michael Bay film. Johnson played his role down to a tee and funnily enough it’s based on a true story much like this film.
JonAwesome - 5/21/2024, 6:25 PM
He doesn’t look as roided up as he usually does! Much better!
IAmAHoot - 5/21/2024, 6:27 PM
From the distance he looks more like Jon Bernthal.
GhostDog - 5/21/2024, 6:31 PM
Bro supposed to play this guy at 28 in the movie at some points…lol
TheVisionary25 - 5/21/2024, 6:33 PM
@GhostDog - drugs will do that to ya lol
Humperdoo - 5/21/2024, 6:40 PM
Oscar-bait? LMAO
Should start drug testing at comicbookmovie. So because the Rock is doing a serious movie it’s Oscar bait? Good luck with that.
RolandD - 5/21/2024, 6:53 PM
Um, he looks exactly like the Rock with hair.
TheVisionary25 - 5/21/2024, 6:58 PM
@RolandD - they did do some nose prosthetic I think atleast.
RolandD - 5/21/2024, 7:34 PM
@TheVisionary25 - OK, maybe I exaggerated but “ Unrecognizable,“ not so much.
RolandD - 5/21/2024, 7:35 PM
@TheVisionary25 - if we want to talk about unrecognizable, that would be Colin Farrell in The Batman..
TheVisionary25 - 5/21/2024, 7:51 PM
@RolandD - oh I agree.

Still surprises me sometimes it’s Colin Farrell
RolandD - 5/21/2024, 10:10 PM
@TheVisionary25 - Right? I don’t know what we really need a Penguin show, but I am looking forward to it nonetheless because of his portrayal.
DanielPlainviewsGhost - 5/21/2024, 6:58 PM
Someone on Reddit said he looks like Trent Reznor and now that's all I can see.
BeNice123 - 5/21/2024, 7:10 PM
theFUZZ008 - 5/21/2024, 7:15 PM
Who is that? I literally can’t recognize him.
User Comment Image
bobevanz - 5/21/2024, 7:32 PM
Until he takes serious roles along with his generic "in the jungle" action movies, he's a clown. I'm excited for this, Bennie Safdie is great. Watch Good Time!
TheMetaMan - 5/22/2024, 12:42 AM
@bobevanz - Bennie Safdie is awesome. I love Good Time. Such a good film. Pun intended lol.
HermanM - 5/21/2024, 8:04 PM
The Smashing Machine... that's what my ex used to call me
Fares - 5/21/2024, 9:19 PM
This is the most interesting thing that The Rock has done in a decade by a mile.

I hope it works out and I hope it's the first of many similarely-interesting roles.
TheMetaMan - 5/22/2024, 12:40 AM
@Fares - My sentiments exactly.
DocSpock - 5/21/2024, 9:31 PM

He's just a big meathead wrestler playing at (not that good) acting.

I'll be glad when he just fades away.

dragon316 - 5/21/2024, 9:50 PM
@DocSpock - I can’t comment on his acting I don’t work in Hollywood know anything about it I enjoy most of his movies there not boring yet
Mrtoke - 5/21/2024, 9:54 PM
He's a serviceable actor. That's why Hollywood continues to cast him. Not Oscar worthy but maybe he'll turn heads in this.
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