Professional wrestling’s long history includes many famous clans who made the sport a family affair. Fans know all about the Harts, the McMahons, the Anoa’i, the Funks, the Guerreros, and the Rhodes. Lots of famous households strapped up their boots and got in the squared circle together. They then taught the family business to new generations of stars. But while fans can debate the best, most talented, most important pro wrestling families ever, there’s no question over the industry’s most tragic. The name Von Erich is as synonymous with talent as it is with grief. Now the legendary Texas clan’s sad story is coming to the big screen in A24’s The Iron Claw, and we are getting a glimpse at the behind the scenes action of it all.

We never thought we’d see Zac Efron portray a wrestler but he, along with co-stars Jeremy Allen White and Harris Dickerson, put the work in. It looks like they built a great friendship along the way. The film’s trailer gives us a great look at The Iron Claw‘s story, which has a depth of heartbreak that’s hard to believe even though we know it’s true.

The Iron Claw is the pro wrestling movie that needed to be made. But it will be hard for those who don’t already know about the Von Erichs to believe what happened to the family. Even the official synopsis for The Iron Claw, which released alongside the trailer, only hints at the fate of a family who made a lasting mark both in the ring and out of it.

From A24:

The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. Through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach, the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest stage in sports. 

A24

Unfortunately, pro wrestling is no different than life: immortality doesn’t always come the way you hope.

Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) both wrote and directed this movie. The Iron Claw stars Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Stanley Simons, Maura Tierney, Holt McCallany, and Lily James. It climbs into the ring later this year when it premieres in theaters on December 22, 2023.

Originally published on October 11, 2023.