RZA, the man behind the Wu-Tang Clan, has been angling towards the silver screen for many years, bolstered by his relationship with fellow kung-fu aficionado Quentin Tarantino. Almost two years ago, CHUD brought you the scoop from producer Eli Roth that the RZA had scripted his own Kung-Fu opus The Man With the Iron Fist, and would be directing the film.
Now from Deadline we learn that the dormant project has been rzarected and reborn at Universal, with RZA starring in the film, as well as directing and writing. Across the clear blue yonder, RZA will take the production (and its just shy of 20 million dollar budget) to Hong Kong in the fall.
Roth is still producing and had this to say-
“We were looking for projects and I suggested RZA’s script. I wrote the latest draft with him. While I was away shooting Inglourious Basterds, 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.”
The film follows a weapons-maker in feudal China who takes on an important role in his village when it is attacked. RZA (the sharpest motherfucker in the whole clan, he’s just on point, he’s a shark, with the beats, with the rhymes, whatever, any deeds) played something of an apprentice role under Tarantino during Kill Bill and is sure to approach the material with a strong style and dense knowledge of the genre. If he can bring to film what he brought to hip-hop 17 years ago, then we’re in for a treat.
UPDATE: A few wise chewers have pointed that RZA is already a veteran director of theatrically unreleased material, including the two-part Bobby Digital film and the Grindhouse-ready Wu-Tang vs. The Golden Phoenix – a trailer you can see below. (Thanks to Reggie-wanker, and The Desolate 1).