RZA Talks 'Man With The Iron Fist' and 'Last Dragon' Remake
There's a martial arts project I've been looking forward to ever since it was first announced - The Man With the Iron Fist. Back in July of last year it was revealed that Eli Roth and RZA would team up to make an old school kung fu movie and RZA would make his directorial debut on it. Not much has been said about it since then, but RZA was interviewed by The A.V. Club and not only gave a good update on The Man With the Iron Fist, but also talked about The Last Dragon remake that he's involved with as well. Neither of the projects have gotten a greenlight just yet, but both of them sound like they're moving along quite smoothly.
The Man With the Iron Fist will be a "bloody R rated martial arts extravaganza" that RZA developed after studying Quentin Tarantino for a few years and working with Eli Roth. He explains the inception story further to The A.V. Club mentioning that Roth came to him saying that he'd like to help him make it, telling RZA: "I just love it, I think the story is unique. I think it’ll be great for the genre." He originally wrote the script before Quentin did Grindhouse then went back and rewrote and polished it recently. "We got it done, complete, circulating through the system, and it should be all cracking up pretty soon." Here's more on it:
"I'm just going to say that I'm looking to make a real good movie for us, yo. I want to make something that… They said the album, 36 Chambers, by Wu-Tang, was new, different, and they said it helped propel the hip-hop community. I would love to do that somehow on film. I would love to make the same mark or impact, and I'm striving to do it with this film as my first serious directorial debut. And I'm going to tell you that we put a lot of time into the script, a lot of energy into it, a lot of people were supporting me on it, and if the energy comes out right, it should be a classic film to have in your library."
One The Last Dragon front, RZA confirmed that he and Samuel L. Jackson had joined the project as producers and would also star in it, as first announced last October. On this project, though, RZA says he read the script and thought it needed some work so he have gave writer Dallas Jackson some books and notes to help him out and to modernize it since Bruce Lee isn't as well known as he was back in the 80's.
"There's been a new script out already, but to me, they didn't nail it, so I sent the writer some books he should read, and I gave him a few pages. I'm not the writer, but I helped him out, gave him five pages of information, sent him some books so he could really make a story that'd resonate with today’s times for The Last Dragon. But I want to keep the martial-art integrity, parts that the first one may have lost, because the other guy was in love with Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is still the master, still the greatest, but maybe his popularity in cinema is not the same as it was in the '80s, because in the '80s, you were still getting Bruce Lee releases."
Is he saying that he wants to pull out all of the "Bruce Lee-ness" of the original Last Dragon? Yes and no. "Bruce Lee is definitely timeless, but at the same time, the integrity of his martial art may not be as widely known now as it was then." Obviously that can be argued, but I'll let RZA and Jackson (both of them) work this out, rather than complain about whether they should be contemporizing it or not. While RZA doesn't say either of these are shooting anytime soon, it at least sounds like they're progressing well, and that's what counts the most. They'll move into production when the time is right. And we'll keep you updated on both!