With A24‘s The Iron Claw now officially out, director Sean Durkin has released a statement describing the film and its themes.
As is the case with most A24 releases, the production company has released a “note” from the film’s director, this time from Durkin, who spoke about his love of wrestling growing up int he late ’80s and early ’90s. The note goes to discuss the film’s themes, noting how it touches on the “absence of grief.”
“The Von Erichs have been referred to as the Kennedys of sports,” said Durkin. “Although there is unthinkable loss within the Von Erich family, The Iron Claw is not about grief and pain, it’s about the absence of grief and what can happen when people refuse to examine their pain. Their family story is a small piece of American history, but it digs up the bedrock of a very American and extremely misguided expression of masculinity, a generational mindset that has harmed our culture in ways we are only just beginning to understand.”
Durkin went on to call the film “part family drama, part gothic horror, part sports movie,” and also likened it to “a true Greek tragedy,” saying that “it is a story about family, gods and monsters, fathers and sons. It is a celebration of brotherhood. It is about finding love and learning to love yourself for who you are. It is about battling against the narrow idea of what it means to be a man. It is about chasing glory and the illusions of success. It is about generational strife and questioning the lens with which we are conditioned to see the world in order to find a hopeful new future.”
What is The Iron Claw about?
“The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s,” reads the 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.”
The Iron Claw is written and directed by Sean Durkin. The film stars Efron as Kevin Von Erich, White as Kerry Von Erich, Harris Dickinson as David Von Erich, Maxwell Jacob Friedman as Lance Von Erich, Holt McCallany as Fritz Von Erich, Maura Tierny as Doris Von Erich, Lily James as Pam Adkisson, Stanley Simons as Mike Von Erich, Aaron Dean Eisenberg as Ric Flair, and more.
The film is produced by Tessa Ross, Juliette Howell, Angus Lamont from House Productions, Durkin, and A24. Executive producers are Derrin Schlesinger and Harrison Huffman for House Productions, Len Blavatnik and Danny Cohen from Access Entertainment, and Eva Yates from BBC Film.