See Dwayne Johnson transform into Mark Kerr in first photo from biopic ‘The Smashing Machine’

Take a look at what The Rock’s been cooking.

A24 has dropped a first look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as mixed martial artist Mark Kerr in the upcoming biopic “The Smashing Machine.” The photo, shared on social media, showed the typically bald wrestler looking almost unrecognizable as Kerr, sporting short black hair and with his iconic tattoos covered up.

Benny Safdie, one half of the filmmaking duo known as the Safdie brothers, is directing “The Smashing Machine,” which also stars Emily Blunt. Kerr is a two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion known as The Smashing Machine, and a documentary about him, also called “The Smashing Machine,” aired on HBO in 2002.

The casting of Johnson as Kerr was announced in December. On Tuesday, the actor and WWE star revealed that the film is beginning production this week and noted that he trained with Kerr, 55, whom he said is still a “machine.”

“I’ll forever be grateful to the core for our his invaluable knowledge he’s been gracious enough to pass onto me and especially for the brotherhood we share,” Johnson wrote.

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The “Black Adam” star added, “Locking up with Mark, and feeling his press and power – it’s no surprise he was an NCAA, UFC & VALE TUDO Heavyweight Champion.”

Dwayne Johnsonto star in Mark Kerr biopic from ‘Uncut Gems’ director Benny Safdie

“The Smashing Machine” appears to represent a shift toward more dramatic, and potentially even Oscar-worthy, roles for Johnson after years of starring in action movies and comedies like the “Jumanji” and “Fast & Furious” films. The movie is expected to deal with Kerr’s battle with addiction.

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“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,” Johnson said in an interview with Variety published in January. “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.”

“The Smashing Machine” will also mark the first film that Safdie has directed solo after working with his brother, Josh Safdie, on movies like “Good Time” and “Uncut Gems.” Benny Safdie told Variety that the split with Josh was not due to a falling out but was “a natural progression of what we each want to explore.”

Contributing: Edward Segarra, USA TODAY

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