Man With the Iron Fists, RZA’s directorial debut, has the stamp of approval of Quentin Tarantino, who mentored the Wu Tang Clan musician after RZA produced the soundtrack for Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
The Kung Fu actioner, which is “presented by” Tarantino, has many of the strengths of good Tarantino film: attention to detail, complicated fight scenes and well-developed, strong characters.
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It turns out that one fight scene in the film -- which opens in theaters on Nov. 2 -- was so strong that it really impressed RZA’s mentor.
In the scene, a male-female duo called The Geminis (Grace Huang and Andrew Lin), who are tasked with protecting the Emperor’s gold, go up against the Lion Clan, a gang of deadly warriors who live in the city.
“That was an incredible fight,” Byron Mann, who plays Silver Lion, the new leader of the Lion Clan, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Quentin said he was actually intimidated by that scene,” added Rick Yune, who plays the hero of the film, Zen Yi.
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Yune, who has often played villains -- including the baddie in Bond film Die Another Day -- takes on the role of the son of the leader of the Lion Clan, who is murdered by Silver Lion. He goes to Jungle Village to avenge his father’s death.
“RZA told me he wanted to see the heart of this guy,” Yune told THR. “And that’s an interesting way to approach a character in an action movie.”
RZA not only directed the project but also starred as The Blacksmith, co-wrote the script with Eli Roth, and produced the score and soundtrack.
Cung Lee, who plays another Lion Clan member, Bronze Lion, said that RZA was very capable of wearing multiple hats onset.
“He’s got that on and off switch,” he said. “When he’s the director, he’s on. When he’s just hanging out, he’s off. When he’s an actor, he’s on again.”
Mann adds that RZA, who has already solidified his next two film projects, is a very open artist, and incorporated a lot of the actors’ ideas into the film, which is being released by Universal.
Adds Yune: “I’ve known him for eight years so I’ve seen him in how he deals with people. He has an amazing ability to draw the best out of people and bring people together that probably would never be in the same room together but bring them together and create something in unison.”
Man With the Iron Fists, which also stars Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, opens in theaters on Nov. 2.
Watch THR's interview with Mann, Yune and Lee above.
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford