The RZA has done it again, this time stepping away from the music scene and, for the first time, directing and acting in The Man with the Iron Fists, a movie which he and seasoned director/producer, Eli Roth wrote the screenplay for.
This movie, which encapsulates the martial mentality for which The RZA is known, was shot on location in Shanghai, China and has an all-star cast including Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu and Rick Yune. This movie has been a work in progress for the Wu-Tang Clan front man, seemingly a project that began during his youth when he saw Rambo—the coolest movie he saw as a child. He knew, though, that he had to make something "even cooler." The action is over the top, the music is engaging and the movie, as The RZA says, is fun: “the most important thing to get from a movie theater experience is fun. I put a lot of fun into this movie.”
The Godfather of action movies, Quentin Tarantino, presents The Man with the Iron Fists, the movie which puts the ‘F’ and ‘U’ in Kung Fu. For years now, The RZA and Tarantino have long been chums. Tarantino is not only a close friend of RZA’s, but a teacher and mentor to this fresh filmmaker. “If I were to belong to a kung fu school, I’d belong to the school of Tarantino,” said The RZA affectionately. Together, the two have traveled the world visiting film festivals, and spent time in Tarantino’s personal theater viewing old movies that, withouth him, The RZA would never know.
All of these efforts were a culmination of what made this movie a nearly 30+ year work in progress. From a young age, Asian culture inspired RZA. And as he said, kung fu is Asian culture; they preserved it. He was able to learn something from watching Kung Fu movies, something he said American movies never touched on—brotherhood, loyalty and sacrifice.
Iron Fists was a collaborative effort of all things inspiring to The RZA's life. From 'The Art of War' to Bruce Lee, to traces of ODB, this movie is his greatest piece of work to date. Filmmaking is a new passion for this tremendous talent and it's only the beginning. Above all, he's an artist first, he says of himself.
The Man with the Iron Fists
is in theaters this Friday, November 2.