The boys of Iron Claw posing as the Von Erict brothers

There Was One Rule ‘The Iron Claw’ Had To Follow

The Iron Claw tells the story of the Von Erich family, particularly the brothers and their turn in the wrestling world. There was an important aspect of their history that Sean Durkin (who wrote and directed the film) and the cast and crew needed to do to bring the Von Erichs story to life.

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Jeremy Allen White, who plays Kerry Von Erich in the movie, went to Late Night With Seth Meyers to talk about the film. Seth Meyers talked about his own history as a wrestling fan, about how he knew of the Von Erichs and how he didn’t know that much about them, and White shared that he didn’t know anything about them, especially not Kerry Von Erich, before accepting the role. But he also shared a very important bit of information the team behind the movie was given before shooting.

Kevin Von Erich, who Zac Efron plays in the movie, is still alive. He is the only brother still living, and his involvement in the movie was limited, but White shared his advice for Durkin and the cast about making the movie.

“And all he asked was to make sure that it was clear how much he loved his brothers and how much they loved one another,” Jeremy Allen White said. “‘As long as you do that, I’ll enjoy the film.’ And I think Sean delivered on that.”

The love that the Von Erichs boys had for each other is what makes The Iron Claw as special of a film as it is. Telling their story wouldn’t matter as much without that love.

Telling a story of brothers who love each other

The Von Erich family in a huddle in The Iron Claw
(A24)

Fritz Von Erich (played by Holt McCallany) changed his name from Jack Adkisson to become a professional wrestler. When it didn’t work for him, he forced five of his six boys into wrestling. What we see in The Iron Claw ends up being how these boys turned to each other to cope.

Yes, we go to movies about wrestling for the appeal of watching them jump from the top rope. We go for the glitz and glamor of wrestling. But what makes a movie like The Iron Claw stand out is the love that we can clearly see between these brothers forced into doing something that most of them do not want to do.

They didn’t have a loving mother or father to look to. They had each other. Seeing these brothers be there for one another? That’s what makes this movie what it is. So I agree with Jeremy Allen White. I think that Durkin did just that. I think that he nailed making us care for the Von Erich brothers and making it clear that they loved one another—and especially that Kevin Von Erich loves his brothers still.

(featured image: A24)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.