Efron and White are set to play WWE champion brothers in the upcoming A24 wrestling film “The Iron Claw.” Efron transforms into WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Von Erich, one of six brothers in a wrestling family. White will play Kerry Von Erich, aka the Texas Tornado.
After White signed on to the film, Efron sent him a “really lovely note,” which read: “Get training, eat, keep doing what you’re doing, stay hard,” as White recalled to GQ.
The “Shameless” actor is attempting to put on 40 pounds of muscle to play the Texas Tornado, while Efron shared a first-look photo of himself beefed up as Kevin Von Erich.
“First Look at my latest project ‘Iron Claw’!” Efron captioned on Instagram. “Can’t wait to show you more…let’s go.”
The cast is rounded out by Harris Dickinson (“Where the Crawdads Sing”) as David Von Erich, with Holt McCallany (“Mindhunter”) as patriarch Fritz Von Erich. Lily James and Maura Tierney also star.
Per an official synopsis, “The Iron Claw” charts 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.
“Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “The Nest” helmer Sean Durkin writes and directs the film, with Tessa Ross, Derrin Schlesinger, and Harrison Huffman producing.
The real Von Erich praised Efron’s transformation to play him, calling it a “hard job” to be a wrestler onscreen. “It’s a lot of information, and a lot of time, and so, you know, they’ve got some tough work ahead of him,” Von Erich told TMZ. “But I saw a picture of the guy, he looked great. I don’t think I ever looked that good. I just saw this picture and he looks really good and muscular. He must really be working out hard. From the picture that they showed me at first, and the picture I saw the other day, he must really be working hard… My daughters love him, and so they think he’s the right guy to do it.”