RZA, making his screenplay writing, lead acting and directing debut all at once, plays the blacksmith of a nineteenth century China Jungle Village. The smith forges weapons for the local warring tribes but when a mysterious stranger betrays the clans and harnesses ancient energies to transform himself into a human weapon. The hero must create and wield powerful weapons, no bonus points for guessing what these weapons are, to defeat the seemingly unstoppable villain.
Now, you’ve seen the poster and read a brief synopsis, check out the debut trailer! Note: This trailer is hyper-violent so heed my NSFW warning if you wish to.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7l3okIqnCg]
It would seem that The Man With The Iron Fists is exactly what we should expect from the people involved. Co-writer Eli Roth and producer Quentin Tarantino‘s influence is clear throughout the trailer. Any super stylized and very violent Kung Fu movie of the last few years owes some credit to Tarantino’s Kill Bill but if you think RZA is just jumping on a band wagon, think again.
RZA’s previous film work and music, both solo and his seminal work with Wu-Tang Clan, is steeped in Kung Fu lore and knowledge. The title of the Clan’s 1993 debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), originates from the 1978 classic The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and myriad martial arts movie samples feature heavily across the group’s career. Also of note is RZA’s involvement in Jim Jarmusch‘s phenomenal Ghost Dog: The Way of The Samurai, which he starred in and composed the soundtrack for.
Tarantino and Roth are not the only notable names on the bill, however. Lucy Liu appears as an over-the-top extension of her crime-boss character from Kill Bill and Russell Crowe stars as Jackknife, the stoic badass role that Crowe’s made a living from. Perhaps the most surprising cast member is former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista (known as Batista when he wrestled) as the villain of the piece. He’s an absolute hulk of a man, even by the gargantuan standards of professional wrestlers, and plays the aforementioned betraying stranger, currently only known as Brass Body. The ancient energy he unleashes seems to grant him powers akin to the X-Man Colossus, the ability to morph his entire body into a super strong metal form.
I’m a huge fan of RZA, Tarantino, Roth and modern Kung Fu movies so needless to say, I’m very excited for The Man With The Iron Fists. Hopefully, we’ll have more news coming soon, so watch this space and stay tuned to Word of the Nerd for any more information.