While many people think of the McMahan family or The Harts when they think of professional wrestling dynasties, another iconic dynasty is being profiled in an upcoming feature film by A24. The Iron Claw will tell the story of the Von Erich family, which dominated World Class Championship Wrestling and the NWA during the 1980s.
Per Deadline, Jeremy Allen White, who starred in Hulu’s The Bear, is joining the film as Kerry Von Erich, the most successful of the wrestling brothers who spent many years in the WWF (now WWE) and held forty championships during his career, including the NWA World Heavyweight Title and WWF Intercontinental Title.
He joins a cast that already includes Zac Efron (Baywatch, Neighbors) as Kevin Von Erich and Harris Dickinson (The King’s Man, Where The Crawdads Sing) as David Von Erich. Family patriarch Fritz Von Erich’s casting has yet to be announced.
The film is written and directed by Canadian film director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Nest). The title refers to Fritz Von Erich’s signature “Iron Claw” hold when he was a pro wrestler.
The big challenge for White and Durkin will be presenting him in a way that matches Kerry’s stature. Kerry stood 6’2″, was extremely muscular, and was billed at around 250 pounds. White reportedly stands 5’7″ and has a leaner frame, so it’ll be interesting to see how they work around that difference when he’s shown in the wrestling ring.
Without giving away too much in the interest of spoilers, the film will document the rise and fall of the wrestling family dynasty, which includes many untimely deaths, including suicides, as part of a larger story about the dangers of parental influence, sibling rivalry, and the professional wrestling business. So much tragedy befell the family following their in-ring success that it came to be known as the “Von Erich Curse.”
The Von Erichs were also profiled in an ESPN “30 for 30” short, titled Wrestling the Curse, and in an episode of Viceland’s Dark Side of the Ring docuseries.