The Iron Claw: Zac Efron to Star in A24 Movie Based on Pro Wrestling's Von Erich Family

A new movie focused on pro wrestling is in the works with Zac Efron attached to star in the lead role. Per Deadline, the film is called The Iron Claw and is based on the story of the Von Erichs, one of pro wrestling history’s most famous families who were particularly celebrated in the Texas area. Written and directed by Sean Durkin, the film is in the works at A24 which will produce the feature alongside Tessa Ross, Derrin Schlesinger, and Harrison Huffman.

Full plot details haven’t been revealed and it’s unclear who Efron will be playing in the film, though it seems likely he’d be playing one of the pro wrestlers of the Von Erich family. The Iron Claw follows 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.” The title of the film comes from a trademark wrestling hold that the family, headed by patriarch Fritz Von Erich, would apply to opponents in the ring.


Zac Efron is coming off fresh from his roles in the films Gold and Firestarter. The actor is also set to appear in the upcoming war drama The Greatest Beer Run Ever from director Peter Farrelly, which also stars Russell Crowe and Bill Murray. It was also just recently announced that Efron would be featured as part of the ensemble cast for an upcoming Netflix romcom that also stars Nicole Kidman and Jeff King. ​​​​​​​That film is currently untitled and doesn’t have a release date.

Related: Zac Efron’s Best Movies Since High School Musical, Ranked

The Von Erich Family Story is a Tragic Tale

There are many tragic tales from the pro wrestling business, but the story of the Von Erich family certainly stands out. Patriarch Fritz Von Erich, whose children would follow in his footsteps by becoming professional wrestlers using the Von Erich name, would end up outliving five of his six children. He lost his first son, Jack, when he was just six years old due to a freak accident electrocution. Son David would later die from enteritis when he was just 25 years old in 1984. In subsequent years, Fritz would lose three more children to suicide. In 1987, son Mike intentionally overdosed at the age of 23, followed by sons 21-year-old Chris and 33-year-old Kerry both dying of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, respectively in 1991 and 1993.

Of the six siblings, only Kevin Von Erich is still living, now 65 years old. He had previously told his family’s story in the Vice docuseries Dark Side of the Ring. Formally, Von Erich retired from wrestling in 1995, though he would make sporadic appearances in the business over the years on WWE programming. Von Erich had even stepped out of retirement briefly in 2017 to take part in a tag team match, teaming up with his sons, Ross and Marshall, to defeat their adversaries. The legacy lives on.

The Iron Claw does not yet have an official release date.


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