RZA's been awfully quiet about his feature debut, the $20 million The Man With The Iron Fists, which wrapped principal photography 8 or 9 months ago, and, per recent interviews with cast members, is mostly cut, as RZA puts the soundtrack together.
He hasn't said much about it, other than the little we already know (synopsis, cast, the basics); we have no expected release date, seen no stills, no clips, not a damn thing.
The rapper turned actor/director's feature film directorial debut, and the highest profile project on this list. It stars RZA himself, Russel Crowe, Pam Grier and others; Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth served as producers on this $20 million project. If it premieres at Sundance 2012, it'll likely be out of competition, as is often the case with films of this caliber that screen at the festival. Production ended earlier this year (shot on location in China), and it went into post-production soon after. This was all during the first 3 months of the year. So, I expect the film is already complete or nearing full completion. We haven't seen a single frame of it, which I find odd. Not a still image, not a clip, nada. Nothing to tease us with, as is customary.
All the revelations have come from members of his cast and crew, but nothing really from the man himself… until now anyway. Although he doesn't give away very much, so don't get too excited.
In an interview with HipHopDX exclusive, posted earlier today, the rapper/actor/writer/director had this to say when the film was brought up, and DX asked about the differences between Blaxploitation cinema and Kung-Fu movies, given that RZA's film kind of brings the two together, in casting Pam Grier (one of Blaxploitation's luminaries) as his mother, and RZA's well-documented love for Kumg-Fu movies:
[laughs] Definitely. And we’ll get into more of that information as the release date gets nearer, but I will say this. I have a centerpiece of Blaxploitation in the film; obviously that was a big 70’s genre. I also have Gordon Liu, the Master Killer himself, who was a centerpiece of the Kung-Fu genre. The funniest part for me though, was that I got a character from Bruce Lee’s Return of the Dragon. In that movie, Bruce Lee is trying to protect the restaurant, and there’s an old white man trying to take over his business. And I cast him in The Man with the Iron Fists, just for that reason. Jon [Jon T. Benn] is in the movie! We had other choices, but when I found out we could get him, it was like, “Oh no. I want this motherfucker!” He’s one of the first villains that I had ever seen watching Bruce Lee movies. He came in wanting to buy the restaurant, and he was just really discriminating. And in my film he plays a character that’s similar…it’s someone with power. So we’ve got them as well as more modern actors in sort of a mashup. I’ve always been a fan of different genres, and even my production was a sort of mashup before people were even calling them that. Now in film, I’m striving to do the same thing. You get a wide range of characters, and attempt to blend them and make something new and unique.
So there's a Blaxploitation centerpiece in the film, he got Jon T. Benn to do the movie to play a baddie with power, and we'll be treated to (hopefully) something fresh, given the mashup of different types of characters, filmmaking styles and maybe even genres. Sounds like a Tarantino movie, so maybe that's where the Tarantino influence manifests.
He mentions "release date" but doesn't give a specific month, day, or even year; though I suspect it's a film that will be out sometime in 2012.
I keep sending him messages on Twitter, asking about the film, but he never responds… but I'll continue to do so; ya never know, he might be feeling generous one of these days.
The full interview with HipHopDX HERE.
If anyone reading this has any further info to dish on the project, spill!