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The actor is slated to play real-life pro wrestler Kevin Von Erich in an upcoming film from A24. Plans for the movie were first announced in June 2022, with filming officially kicking off in October 2022 as the actor was seen on set wearing a noteworthy new hairdo.
Based on a true story, the upcoming film will explore the "rise and fall" of the Von Erich wrestling family.
The project marks the latest in a series of roles in which Efron has portrayed a real-life person. In 2019, he notably played serial killer Ted Bundy in Netflix's Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and recently, he played former United States Marine Chick Donohue in the biographical film The Greatest Beer Run Ever.
From the cast members joining Efron for the film to the interesting backstory, here's everything to know about The Iron Claw.
What is The Iron Claw about?
Per the official tagline from A24, the film tracks the "rise and fall of the Von Erich family, a dynasty of wrestlers who made a huge impact on the sport from the 1960s to the present day."
The son of famed professional wrestler Fritz Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich began wrestling in 1976, receiving numerous honors over the course of his career, including a world championship title. In 2009, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Von Erich family.
Who is in the cast of The Iron Claw?
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Alongside Efron as Kevin, the film also stars Maura Tierney, Harris Dickinson, Jeremy Allen White and Lily James, the latter of which recently gained critical acclaim for her portrayal of Pamela Anderson in Hulu's Pam & Tommy.
Tierney is slated to play Doris, the matriarch of the Von Erich wrestling family, while McCallany will play Fritz Von Erich, the patriarch of the famed Von Erich wrestling family, per Deadline. Additionally, the publication reports that White will play Kerry Von Erich, the brother of Kevin. It's unclear who James will play in the film.
How did Zac Efron prepare for his role in The Iron Claw?
While Efron is no stranger to bulking up for a role, he recently told Men's Health that he had a different approach this time than the training he did for Baywatch. Efron recalled that he "fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time" after recovering from the rigorous training for the 2017 film.
"That Baywatch look, I don't know if that's really attainable," he said. "There's just too little water in the skin. Like, it's fake; it looks CGI'd. And that required powerful diuretics to achieve. So I don't need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3 percent body fat."
Who is directing The Iron Claw?
Martha Marcy May Marlene filmmaker Sean Durkin is slated to write and direct the film alongside producers Tessa Ross, Derrin Schlesinger and Harrison Huffman, per Deadline.
When did The Iron Claw start filming?
The Iron Claw kicked off filming in Louisiana in October 2022, with the first look at Efron in character being released on Oct. 24.
When will The Iron Claw be released?
At the moment, A24 hasn't announced an official release date for the film, though it will likely be sometime in 2023.