The Iron Claw: What We Know So Far

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The muscles (and wigs) are no joke in The Iron Claw, A24’s upcoming drama about the Von Erich brothers and their wrestling dynasty in the ’80s. Four beefed-up, shaggy stars lead as the four siblings: Zac Efron, The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White, Triangle of Sadness’ Harris Dickson, and Angelfish’s Stanley Simons.

Here’s what else to know.

What (and who) is The Iron Claw about?

The film is based on a true story, following the Von Eriches as they “made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s,” per the official synopsis. “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.”

Indeed, the real-life Von Erich clan is renowned for their wrestling chops; patriarch Fritz even coined the move “the iron claw,” in which he would squeeze an opponent’s face with one hand, during his heyday in the ’50s. His sons also made names for themselves in the wrestling world, but the family was also plagued with tragedy.

Fritz and his wife Doris lost their first son, Jackie, when he was just 7 years old. Then, in the ’80s and ’90s, four more of their sons died years apart: David, Mike, Chris, and Kerry, according to ET. People began to believe there was a “Von Erich Curse.” Kevin, who is still alive today, has since said the curse wasn’t real, though he, too, almost believed it at a time.

“To tell [you] the truth, I may have believed it when it was going on, but I never said it out loud,” he told The Dallas Morning News in 2015.

When does it come out?

The Iron Claw opens in theaters on December 22, just in time for the holidays.

Who is in the cast?

Among the brothers, Zac Efron stars as Kevin Von Erich, Jeremy Allen White is Kerry, Harris Dickinson is David, and Stanley Simons is Mike.

Holt McCallany (Mindhunter) plays their dad Fritz, Maura Tierney (The Affair) is their mother Doris, and Lily James (Pam & Tommy) is Pam Adkisson, Kevin’s wife.

The film is written and directed by Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene).

Is there a trailer?

The official trailer was released on October 11, sharing a gritty look at the brothers’ strong bond, their talents in the ring, and their family struggles, especially with their father.

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Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now. 

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