Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Last year Keanu Reeves started talking about Man of Tai Chi, which would be his first feature project as a director. The martial arts film would be set in the present day, but is intended as an homage to classic kung-fu films. Now Mr. Reeves says he wants to play the villain in the film, which is gathering financing now.
Speaking to MTV, he said,
We want to do it in Chinese and English, do it as kind of a co-production with CFG perhaps, which is a Chinese film group, kind of a studio. It’s tricky.
That’s the sort of financing deal we might start seeing a lot of soon. It’s how Ryan Johnson’s Looper got made, and we’ve already started to hear about other films looking to use Chinese money to get off the ground. (Not the Red Dawn remake, though.)
The Man of Tai Chi script is packed with action, he says.
There’s 18 fights. We’ve timed it out. It’s about 40 minutes of fighting. I want to make a good, solid kung fu movie. Good story, good plot — but let’s get some good kung fu going!
Honestly, that sounds like fun, and possibly a good double-feature with RZA’s The Man With the Iron Fists. Keanu Reeves has got some solid kung-fu training thanks to the Matrix films, and hopefully all that experience, even though it is a few years in the past, can help shape Man of Tai Chi. But first he’s shooting the samurai film 47 Ronin, which he just described as follows:
It’s kind of a western. I call it a story of revenge and impossible love. The samurai become ronin, outcast, and decide to enact revenge on the person who is responsible for the death of their lord. And I play an outsider, a kind of half-breed with a mysterious past named Kai, who’s in love with the princess and she’s in love with me, but we can’t be together. But during this journey and revenge, things change.