Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2010 by Brendon Connelly
The RZA‘s career in the movies reportedly started with a call from Harvey Weinstein. Here’s how he tells it, in an impersonation of the big man. The phone went, he picked it up, there was a raspy voice and it said:
Hey RZA, it’s Harvey. I want you to be in my movie. You got a new career now.
Such a smooth talker, the big man.
That movie was Derailed, Mikael Halfstrom’s thriller with Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen. Since then, a series of supporting roles and scoring gigs have seen RZA keep his side careers spinning nicely but all of his notable achievements were still on wax, courtesy of the music made through his membership of the Wu Tang Clan. However, that may be about to change with his next step up the cinematic ladder and the advent of his debut as a writer-director. Fingers crossed that The Man With the Iron Fist is a movie as good as his hip hop.
Producer Eli Roth has told The LA Times how confident he is that film will be a winner:
RZA is such a creative fountain. The script is great, he’s got characters, jokes. What he does with lyrics, he does with dialogue and he’s done such a great mix: spaghetti western, kung fu, modern fighting infused with hip-hop and multiculture. He has this whole comic book universe figured out. I know he’s going to make a brilliant film.
The man himself says that the film will offer:
Kung fu but not grindhouse. Something that’s modern, like Blade
Sounds a bit… Kill Bill? Maybe.
I can’t help but be optimistic. This man certainly knows his martial arts and Chinese action films. He’s also formed a close relationship with John Woo, one of the greatest directors the genre has ever known.
For many years, I was getting my lessons from John. His movie Bullet in the Head, he said I can make it over. He said, “You will get no resistance from me.”
I think Bullet is my number-one favourite of Woo’s pictures and I could be sensitive about a remake, but actually, I’m curious to see what somebody like RZA, coming from such a different culture, would do with it. First of all, I’m assuming he’d change the period and location, have another war at the centre of the narrative… but beyond that…? Of course, I’m only assuming there was some incentive to them discussing the principle of a remake, that RZA somehow showed interest in the notion.
We’ve been waiting some time for RZA’s debut movie as director, and it sounds like we’ll have a while to wait yet. Personally speaking, it feels that the wait is getting harder and harder. Roll on that Iron Fist.