RZA, the Wu-Tang founder whose infatuation with kung fu culture is well documented, will bring his passion for martial arts to another medium with The Man With the Iron Fist. He’s set to star and direct from a script he co-wrote with Eli Roth (Hostel, Inglorious Bastard‘s Bear Jew). Quentin Tarantino, a bona fide fan of the Wu who once asked RZA to write and produce original music for Kill Bill, will produce.
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This sounds perfect. All three of the creative minds behind The Man With the Iron Fist have a deep appreciation and understanding of the early ’70s martial arts flick. The fact that they’re all coming together to pay homage to a genre that has so heavily influenced each one of them throughout their careers leads me to believe it’ll be a good one. If there’s anyone I trust to make a throwback kung fu epic, it’s RZA, Roth, and Tarantino.
And then there’s the wild card. In an interview with E! Online at Sunday’s VMAs, RZA dropped the first bit of casting news and announced Russell Crowe‘s attachment to the picture. “RZA will play a weapons-making village blacksmith in feudal China—and as for Crowe, RZA doesn’t want to say too much,” says E!’s Marc Malkin. While it seems strange that a movie star (and such a self-serious one, at that) like Crowe would choose to star in a meagerly budgeted kung fu movie from a first time director, Ain’t It Cool News explains that the pairing is not as random as it seems.
From AICN’s Mr. Beaks:
It’s unknown how significant a part Crowe’s character plays in the story (which RZA co-wrote with Eli Roth), but the actor’s involvement in RZA’s film didn’t actually come out of the blue. They both appeared in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, and hit it off so famously that they decided to record a song for the soundtrack (it was unused). They are also acting together in Paul Haggis’s The Next Three Days.
Wait? A RZA/Russell Crowe collabo exists somewhere? This I need to hear.
The Man With the Iron Fist goes into production with a $20 Million budget this December in Shanghai. Expect to see it hit theaters in late 2011/early 2012.
For more info, check out E! Online’s story here.
-The daNk Knight