'The Iron Claw': Sean Durkin's Wrestling Dynasty Pic For A24 Lands December 22 Theatrical Release

After winning its second Best Picture Oscar this year for “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” all eyes are on A24 this awards season. So is there a runaway smash hit for the distributor that matches last year’s buzz of the Daniels film? Not really, but “Past Lives” has received lots of critical loves, and Jonathan Glazer‘s “Zone Of Interest” likely will too.

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But what about Sean Durkin‘s wrestling pic “The Iron Claw” as a dark horse for A24 this coming awards season? The latest film from the “Martha Marcy May Marlene‘ director boasts a stacked ensemble cast and a respected director at the helm. And with Variety reporting that A24 eyes a December 22 release date for “The Iron Claw,” they may think it’s good enough to garner attention away from likely awards seasons favorites like “Killers Of The Flower Moon” and “Oppenheimer.”

The film’s new pre-Christmas release date pits “The Iron Claw” against  Universal and Illumination‘s animated film “Migration,” with the long-awaited DCEU film “Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom” arriving two days before. Meanwhile, “The Color Purple” lands in theaters Christmas Day. Will Durkin’s new film be able to tussle with those three titles? It certainly fills the release gap for an adult drama for late December, but Warner BrosDiscovery may shuffle around release dates for “The Lost Kingdom” and “The Color Purple” due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Still, a holiday season theatrical release means that A24 is high on this film, even if “The Iron Claw” may not receives a premiere during the Fall festival circuit.

“The Iron Claw” tackles the tragic true story of the Von Eric family, a dynasty of the professional wrestling world in the early 1980s plagued by various tragedies the industry calls the “Von Erich curse.”  Zac Efron leads the cast as Kevin Von Erich, with Jeremy Allen White as his brother Kerry.  Harris Dickinson also plays David Von Erich, another of the siblings, with Holt McCallany as Fritz, the patriarch. Other case includes Lily James as Kevin’s wife Pam, and Maura Tierney as Doris, Fritz’s wife.

Access Entertainment and BBC Film co-finance “The Iron Claw” with A24, with House Productions developing the film through them. Producers on the film include Tessa RossJuliette HowellAngus Lamont through House, Durkin, and A24.  Derrin Schlesinger and Harrison Huffman serve as co-executive producers through House, with Len Blavatnik and Danny Cohen through Access Entertainment, and Eva Yates through BBC Film.

With “The Bear” star White on board, “The Iron Claw” will prove to be one of the buzziest films release in 2023’s final month. The actor claims he put on 40 pounds of muscle for Durkin’s pic, which feels a little ludicrous. But given the viral pics of Efron in his Kevin Von Erich role from the past year, maybe White isn’t embellishing those gain numbers. But does A24 have a winner with “The Iron Claw”? It’s wait-and-see right now, but don’t sleep on what Sean Durkin can do behind the camera. As stated earlier, the film hits theaters everywhere on December 22.