Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known for big-budget blockbuster productions these days, but a relatively smaller, family-focused film is arriving later this year that draws on Johnson’s particular talents. Written and directed by Stephen Merchant, who also stars in the film, Fighting with My Family follows a former wrestler and his family as they perform at small-time venues to make ends meet while his kids dream of joining the WWE. (Definitely worth mentioning that WWE Studios and Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions have teamed up with Film4, Channel 4, and Misher Films for this production, which will be distributed by MGM.)
We got our first glimpse at the film today thanks to Film4’s release of a clip featuring Johnson, as himself, doling out some tough advice to Zak and Raya Knight, played by Jack Lowden and Florence Pugh, respectively. The story is based in part on the experience of real-life wrestler Paige, a.k.a. Saraya-Jade Bevis, and the Channel 4 documentary by the same name. If you’ve been waiting a while to see Johnson channel his Rock persona, you’re in luck! Also starring Lena Headey, Nick Frost, and Vince Vaughn, Fighting with My Family arrives September 14th in the U.S. and September 28th in the U.K.
Check out The Rock’s advice below:
Stephen Merchant’s wrestling comedy-drama, starring Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden, tells the story of two siblings trying to become WWE superstars.
The film is inspired by the Channel 4 British documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family and tells the story of reformed gangster and former wrestler Ricky, his wife Julia, daughter Saraya and son Zak who make a living performing in tiny venues across the country. Ricky and Julia want a better life for their children and when brother and sister get the chance to audition for WWE, it seems the family dream is coming true and all their troubles will be solved. However, Saraya and Zak are about to learn that becoming a WWE Superstar demands more than they ever imagined possible as athletes and siblings. Wrestling has always kept this family together – but now it could tear them apart.
It may not be in the same vein as Rampage, Skyscraper or the next installment/spin-off in the Fast and Furious franchise, but it’s nice to see Johnson branching out as producer and actor. For all we know, this could be the extent of his appearance in Fighting with My Family, but his name recognition will certainly help to spread the word about this film, which boasts a solid core cast and has the access of the WWE fanbase to draw from. This could be a surprising crowd-pleaser if it can get past the cranky critics who often take their summer frustrations out on films like this around the Labor Day holiday.