After having played bit parts in a number of films, Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA's movie career is about to jump to a new level as he's set to direct and star in a kung-fu epic that he also wrote.
"The Man With the Iron Fist" promises to be a hyper-stylized take on the kung fu genre, one that RZA has repeatedly expressed an abiding love for over the years, and he's got horror master Eli Roth producing.
RZA will play the title role of a village blacksmith in feudal China who supplies his fellow townsfolk with weapons to defend themselves from an invading horde.
"It started with a trip RZA and I took with Quentin (Tarantino) to Iceland in 2005," Roth told Deadline Hollywood. "We flew back, ended up snowed in in Boston, staying at my parents' house in Newton. Turned out that my dad and RZA grew up in Brooklyn and went to the same Brownsville junior high school and swam in the same public pool. He hooked me on his dream of directing and reinventing the Kung Fu movie genre. It reminded me of my love of horror."
Quentin Tarantino had RZA join him on the set of "Kill Bill" so the rap legend could compose music for the films, and ended up giving him in a crash course in directing.
A couple of years later, while Tarantino and Roth were filming "Inglourious Basterds," RZA began working on the project in earnest.
"RZA went to China to shoot test footage on his own, with all the choreography. It was very visual and I think he will bring to life a script that mixes kung fu with a spaghetti Western mindset and a hip hop influence," said Roth.
And lest you doubt RZA martial arts skills, check out this interview he gave last year where he kicks the Bionic Man off of a journalists head... (warning: some adult language)
Please, please, please let this movie be as awesome as it could be...