While Jeremy Allen White has long been recognizable for playing Phillip “Lip” Gallagher on the Showtime series Shameless, these days he’s popular for a different reason: leading The Bear. The Hulu show premiered in June to critical acclaim, and in the following month, The Bear was renewed for Season 2. Before that sophomore outing though, White will be going shirtless in a movie co-starring Zac Efron.
A few months back, it was announced that Zac Efron had been tapped to star in the A24 movie The Iron Claw, which is delving into the real-life rise and fall of the Von Erich family of wrestling royalty. At the time, it wasn’t disclosed to the public who Efron is playing, but that information has now been revealed alongside the news that Jeremy White Allen and The King’s Man’s Harris Dickinson are joining the cast. The trio will comprise three of the six brothers from the Von Erich family’s second generation, with Efron playing Kevin Erich, White playing Kerry Erich and Dickinson playing David Erich. All three men got in on the wrestling action across the ‘80s and ‘90s, so expect to see the actors playing them shirtless for a decent chunk of The Iron Claw.
The Erich family have been mainstays in the wrestling industry for over 60 years, with Fritz Von Erich (his real name being Jack Adkisson), the father of Kevin, Kerry, David, Jack, Mike and Chris, kicking off the dynasty in the 1950s. The family as a whole was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009, and along with the many men and women from the second and third generations who threw down in the ring, there were also some wrestlers outside of the bloodline who wrestled as Von Erich “family members.” Sadly, this clan has also endured a lot of tragedies over the decades.
Starting off, Jack, the first of Fritz Von Erich’s sons to be born, drowned when he was seven years old in 1959. David died at age 25 in 1984 from enteritis, and Mike, Kerry and Chris all died by suicide, leaving Kevin as the only son still alive when Fritz passed away in 1997. So make no mistake, in keeping with a lot of A24 movies, The Iron Claw will be exploring darks subject matter on top of showing off wrestling action. As far as Jeremy Allen White goes, this is arguably his biggest film appearance yet, with his past credits in this area including The Rental, Viena and the Fantomes and The Birthday Cake.
Behind the scenes, The Iron Claw is being written and directed by Martha Marcy May Marlene’s Sean Durkin, and A24 is co-financing the movie with Access Industries and BBC Film. Tessa Ross, Derrin Schlesinger, Harrison Huffman and Angus Lamont are attached to produce, and House Productions developed the project. There’s no word yet on when The Iron Claw will begin filming, but with Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White and Harris Dickinson all officially on board, I imagine we won’t have to wait to long to learn who’s playing Fritz Von Erich and other prominent members of the family.