If you would have asked me back in my 1990s hip-hop heyday what Wu-Tang Clan creator RZA would be doing in about twenty years (yup, it's been that long), I would have definitely said 'Working in Hollywood with big-name writers, actors and directors, starring in directing his own big-budget films. Definitely would've said that.
This fall sees the premiere of The Man with the Iron Fists, the musician/producer/actor/director's martial arts action flick dream project, which in theaters backed by names like Eli Roth (Hostel), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), with famous actors like Russell Crowe, Pam Grier and Lucy Liu in prominent roles. Check out a gallery of new images from the film - as well as some artist-inspired promo posters - in our massive new gallery.
RZA Directing Grant Morrison Comic Book Movie, Happy!
Showing no signs of slowing down, RZA is teaming up with comic book writer/auteur Grant Morrison (Justice League, New X-Men, Batman Incorporated) to adapt Morrison's recently-debuted comic series Happy! for the big screen. RZA would direct from a script that Morrison himself will write; scripting and pre-planning the film are reportedly being done first, before a studio or financier are approached.
Happy! follows ex-cop-turned-hitman Nick Sax, who is left on death's door after a hit goes bad but manages to hang on to life... though not without strange consequences. After his brush with death, Sax finds he is being (accompanied? Haunted? Afflicted?) by "Happy," an upbeat blue winged-horse who is the total antithesis to Nick's sad-sack cynical worldview. Before long, Happy is coercing Nick to do more heroic things, like trying to save a troubled kid.
What, exactly, RZA and Grant Morrison will do for the film treatment remains to be seen - truth be told, it remains to be seen what Morrison will do with the actual comic, let alone a film. According to THR, who broke the news, the series is comparable to a mashup of "It’s a Wonderful Life, Sin City, and Care Bears." Morrison's trademark is his strange-but-brilliant inversion of comic book genre tropes and characters, so anything is fair game, really. Happy could end up goading Nick to blow up a room full of bad guys, or be revealed as some sort of government conditioning program - or maybe an high-minded alien psychic entity come to Earth looking for a human host. It's Grant Morrison, you never know.
In regards to the film: given the success of movies like the James Stewart classic, Harvey - or the more recent success of Seth MacFarlane's Ted, there's definitely a market for films featuring human protagonists plagued by imaginative friends born of their personalities (or in Ted's case, magic wishes). It's a cinematic metaphor that just seems to offer all sorts of playful, demented (yet strangely relatable) fun.
...As to which studio will be willing fund the creation of a blue CGI Pegasus, as part of a possibly R-rated crime drama? Your guess is as good as mine; depends on what Morrison and RZA show them, I guess...
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The Man with the Iron Fist will be in theaters on November 2, 2012.
We'll keep you updated on the status of Happy!.
Poster Images Artist Credits: David Ikeda, Joshua Andrew Belanger, Jeff Stevens, Ravi Rochanayon, Shawn Knight, Eric Nakama, Chad Robertson, Yasushi Ono, Ian Keltie & Margaret Berg