Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson, stars of “Jungle Cruise”, will face off in the wrestling movie

Emily Blunt starred alongside Dwayne Johnson in Disney’s Jungle Cruise adaptation, and now the acclaimed actress is getting ready to join the call sheet with him again. Blunt is in talks to star opposite Johnson in A24’s The Smashing Machine. The film will tell the true story of a mixed martial artist and will be directed by Bennie Safdie.

The Smashing Machine will depict the life of Mark Kerr, a heavyweight MMA fighter and two-time UFC champion. Kerr endured a battle with drug addiction and painkillers throughout his career, and the film is expected to feature this addiction as one of its main aspects. If the deal closes, Blunt will portray Dawn Staples, Kerr’s wife. The title of the film refers to Kerr’s well-publicized nickname in the ring. The film has become somewhat of a passion project for Johnson, who himself first rose to stardom as the professional wrestler The Rock in the WWE. Johnson first announced back in 2019 that he was teaming up with Safdie to tell Kerr’s story.

With Blunt coming onboard, Safie now has a pair of bonafide stars to help tell Kerr’s story. Safdie, also known for his acting chops and collaborations with his brother Joshua Safdie, will helm The Smashing Machine from a self-written script. The A24 film will also be produced by Safdie for his Out for the Count banner alongside Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions. Eli Bush and David Koplan are additional producers.

Blunt and Johnson’s Previous On-Screen Romance

This won’t be the first time that Blunt and Johnson have shared the screen, as they previously teamed up for the aforementioned Jungle Cruise. The film, which also starred Jack Whitehall and Jessie Plemons, was based on the Disney ride of the same name. Though it was sort of contrary to type for Blunt, who is mostly known for her dramatic work, Jungle Cruise wasn’t her first high-octane project. She previously starred alongside Tom Cruise in Warner Bros.’ Edge of Tomorrow, and the studio reportedly has a sequel in early development.

And after their turns in the wrestling ring, Blunt and Johnson are likely going back to the jungle, as a sequel to Jungle Cruise is also in development at Disney. Both Blunt and Johnson were reported to be returning to their roles for the sequel, though no other details have been confirmed. Producer Beau Flynn previously spoke to Collider about Jungle Cruise 2:

“Dwayne and Emily have created such an incredible bond. Their chemistry is extraordinary in the first movie and I know now they know these characters so intimately … so I have a feeling like those two will make sure that a ‘Jungle Cruise 2’ gets made at some point.”
No release window for The Smashing Machine has been set. Stay tuned to Collider for more information.

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