RZA becomes a director with The Man with the Iron Fists
By Demetairs Bell
Wearing the triple crown in his feature film debut as a director, co-writer and leading man, RZA, the founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, gives you The Man with the Iron Fists, a movie he describes as “an action-packed adventure about brotherhood and loyalty.” He also says, “There’s humor and drama in the film.”
Those that have followed RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan know he’s a fan of kung fu films, he told me some of his favorites include Godfather of Hong Kong, Fists of Double K and Five Deadly Venoms. As a music producer for the Wu-Tang Clan he mixed in sound effects from kung fu films creating his groundbreaking signature sound.
The Man with the Iron Fists is a story of warriors, assassins and a lone hero whose paths collide in a village in China where they battle for a fortune in gold and to win the heart of a love interest. Calling this project “a dream come true,” RZA stated this was something he has been determined to get out to moviegoers for quite a while.
He began his film career acting in the 1999 cult classic Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. RZA has had a number of supporting roles over the years, most notably as a detective in American Gangster opposite Denzel Washington.
In The Man with the Iron Fists, RZA plays the character of the Blacksmith and is joined by an international cast led by Russell Crowe (American Gangster), who plays Jack Knife and shares the name of his unique weapon; Lucy Liu as Madam Blossom, owner of the local brothel; Rick Yune; Jamie Chung as Blacksmith’s love interest; David Bautista (WWE and current MMA heavyweight fighter) as Brass Body, the Blacksmith’s ultimate nemesis; Byron Mann; and Daniel Wu. Pam Grier (Jackie Brown) plays the Blacksmith’s mother.
When asked about the fight scenes, RZA became excited saying he thinks everyone will enjoy the scene with the Blacksmith and Madam Blossom. After reading early drafts of the script, Lucy Liu requested an elaborate fight scene that she believed the audience would have fun with. She stated “If I play a madam running a brothel and managing women, then [the madam’s] strength should be emphasized.”
The Man with the Iron Fists is “an action-packed adventure about
brotherhood and loyalty,” according to director RZA.
RZA was asked if he had to do any training for his part and his fight scenes. He stated he has practiced “tiger”- and “crane”-style martial arts over the years and that helped for this role. When asked if he thought people outside of cult followers of kung fu films would want to see a modern-day kung fu film, he answered, “It’s bigger than just a kung fu film — it’s about a quest for freedom, brotherhood, loyalty and love.” He believes moviegoers will enjoy the choreography and its fast pace.
RZA said that he feels no added pressure being the leading man, co-writer and director of a film, citing the lengthy process of writing the film and studying under the tutelage of Quentin Tarantino, the film’s producer, who he describes as “very supportive” of his dream.
Something this writer admires about Quentin Tarantino’s movies is it can be difficult to determine if they take place in the 1970s or modern times. When asked if this movie has that same feel, RZA said, “The special effects will [give] more of a Star Wars feel to [the movie].”
As for RZA’s music fans, he assures everyone that he’s not abandoning the music scene: “Wu-Tang is still number one with me; we’re still making music and touring.”
If it’s action, suspense, awesome fight scenes and humor along with some drama that you like in a movie, make a date to see The Man with the Iron Fists.
Demetairs Bell welcomes reader responses to [email protected]