The Latest On Which Von Erich Zac Efron Will Portray In Upcoming Feature Film

Zac Efron is known primarily for light-hearted musicals, but he's about to have to go to a very different place.

Further information has come out about "The Iron Claw," the upcoming pro wrestling movie covering the tragic story of the Von Erich family. Zac Efron was announced to be in the starring role, and according to PWInsider, he will be playing Kevin Von Erich, the only surviving son of the wrestling family's patriarch, Fritz.

Deadline announced that Efron would be involved in the movie back in mid-June, but no further information was provided as to what role he was going to portray. The description of the film that Deadline provided was as follows:

"Based on the true story of the Von Erichs, the film 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 Von Erich name is still very active in the world of wrestling as Kevin's two sons, Ross and Marshall, have become top stars in Major League Wrestling, winning that promotion's world tag team titles and just recently competing against the Briscoes at Ric Flair's Last Match at the end of July.. Despite Kevin, Marshall, and Ross' presence in the business, PWI is reporting that the Von Erich family has no ties to "Iron Claw." The film will be written and directed by Sean Durkin, who won Best Director at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for "Martha Marcy May Marlene." Production is scheduled to start in October, and filming will reportedly take place in Louisiana.

The Historic And Tragic Legacy Of The Von Erichs

If Ross and Marshall have you thinking the Von Erich story is an uplifting one, you might want to think again.

Fritz Von Erich was the promoter of World Class Championship Wrestling in Dallas, TX, and had a total of six sons: Jack, Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike, and Chris. Jack was only six years old when he died tragically after an electric shock, but he would only be the first. David, who was seen as an eventual NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, was found dead in a Japanese hotel room in 1984. The cause of death was listed as acute enteritis, but many believe it was a drug overdose. Mike was an active wrestler until he injured his shoulder back in 1985, and began suffering from toxic shock syndrome as a result. He died by suicide in 1987. Chris was the youngest of the Von Erich boys. His numerous health issues, including asthma and brittle bones, kept him from wrestling and caused him to suffer from depression, leading him to take his own life in 1991. Kerry was the other Von Erich slated for stardom, and he achieved that in WCCW, eventually becoming the NWA Worlds Champion, but Kerry was also dealing with substance abuse, and he became the third brother to die by suicide in 1993.

The brothers' deaths are colloquially referred as "the Von Erich curse," and were the subject of a "Dark Side Of The Ring" documentary in 2019.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.