Dwayne Johnson Teams With Stephen Merchant For ‘Fighting With My Family’ Wrestling Film
Today in Uh, Okay news, the ridiculously prolific Dwayne Johnson is teaming up with the WWE and Film4 to produce a wrestling dramedy based on the Channel 4 British documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family. The film, which centers on the life of WWE wrestler Paige and her family, will be written and directed by the brilliant Stephen Merchant — of all people.
Deadline reports that Merchant is writing and directing Fighting With My Family, a comedy-drama based on the Channel 4 doc, which follows a family of professional wrestlers. The new film, backed by Johnson and his Seven Bucks banner, will star Florence Pugh as Paige (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis) and Jack Lowden as her brother Zak.
Johnson will have a supporting role in the movie, though it’s unclear if he’ll be playing himself. Here’s how Deadline describes the plot:
Film follows the story of reformed gangster and former wrestler Ricky, his wife Julia, daughter Saraya and son Zak who make a living performing in tiny venues across the country. Ricky and Julia want a better life for their children and when brother and sister get the chance to audition for the WWE, it seems the family dream is coming true and all their troubles will be solved. However, Saraya and Zak are about to learn that becoming a WWE Superstar demands more than they ever imagined possible as athletes and siblings.
Paige made her wrestling debut in 2005 at the age of 13. She won various championship titles in Europe before signing on with the WWE in 2011, though she didn’t join the main roster until 2014. At the age of 21, Paige made her big WWE debut at the Divas Championship, winning her first match and becoming the youngest wrestler to hold the title. In 2016, Paige took a hiatus due to a neck injury, and over the next few months she was suspended twice for violating the WWE’s “wellness policy” (she reportedly tested positive for illegal substances, though her family disputes this claim).
Paige and her family certainly have a fascinating story, and though Merchant’s involvement seems a bit out of left field, it’s kind of exciting. The actor, who appears next opposite Hugh Jackman in Logan, also created and starred in the tragically short-lived HBO series Hello Ladies — if you haven’t watched it yet, the series (and its follow-up movie) are available on HBO’s streaming services and definitely worth your time.