It may not be Kill Bill 3, but RZA's upcoming martial arts flick, The Man With The Iron Fists, will draw plenty of comparisons to his good friend Quentin Tarantino's work. On a number of occasions, Quentin Tarantino has praised RZA's knowledge of the martial arts world.
The former Wu-Tang Clan star now appears to have Universal on his side to help create the feature film he co-wrote with Eli Roth (a.k.a. "The Bear Jewwwww" from Inglourious Basterds).
When Tarantino discusses RZA's passion for the genre, it is clear the filmmaker is lobbying a future project. Now that the screenplay has apparently been picked up, it is entirely up to RZA to present a finished product. Even though he is new to actual filmmaking, RZA worked tirelessly with Tarantino to help perfect the Kill Bill saga. This is especially apparent in his work as a music composer on the films.
After Hostel, it is safe to say Eli Roth knows horror. Regardless of your personal opinion of the film, he is a man with vast knowledge of the genre and it is evident throughout. So, when he says "[RZA] knows kung fu like I know horror," you can rest assured The Man With The Iron Fists is in good hands. At the very least, RZA has watchful eyes protecting him from failure.
Deadline has shared what they know of the plot and some production details:
"RZA will play the title character, a blacksmith who forges weapons for the inhabitants of a village in feudal China. They are forced to defend themselves, and before you know it, everybody is kung fu fighting."
"Roth will produce with Strike Entertainment's Marc Abraham and Eric Newman. RZA will also produce the soundtrack. The film shoots in September in Hong Kong at a budget under $20 million."
It all sounds like a hit to me, especially considering my own affinity for Kill Bill. According to Roth, RZA shot some fully choreographed test footage in China. In the recurring connection to Tarantino's personal style, the footage was referred to as a mix of "kung fu with a spaghetti Western mindset and a hip hop influence." Some would say that was relatively predictable.
If you need some evidence of the former rapper's acting chops, he's had some small roles in big films. My personal favorite is Winston Boyko in Derailed, where he spends his time helping Clive Owen solve the movie's mystery.
I am genuinely excited for this production. Even if Quentin Tarantino is an eccentric lover of almost everything, I trust his every word. And if he tells me RZA knows his martial arts, then lock my ticket up right now. At least this could hold our attention until Kill Bill 3. Speaking of which, hop to it Quentin, the world is waiting :-).
What do you think of this news? Do you trust the martial arts genre in the hands of RZA?