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After years of planning, and months of promotion, RZA’s feature film directorial debut, The Man With The Iron Fists is in theaters today (November 2nd). The movie stars himself, Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe, and should be a fun ride for kung-fu movie fans as it contains many blatant and subtle odes to classic movies like Enter The Dragon, Five Deadly Venoms and Ninja Scroll, to name a few. The late Bruce Lee’s influence was particularly important to the RZA.

“It was very important to pay homage to those things that inspired me,” RZA told Hip-Hop Wired. “Especially, Bruce Lee to me [is a] minor prophet. In the Koran it teaches us…it says we have have major prophets, we have minor prophets; so Abraham, Moses and Jesus would be major. But then you have minor prophets that only live for small periods of time and inspire people in their own small ways. I feel Bruce Lee was like that.”

Bobby Digital elaborated on why the actor and martial artist is so revered. “He awakened the world to the strength of Asian men; Asian people in particular,” he explained. “He brought martial arts films to the world, to a world stage. And Enter The Dragon [is] one of the greatest martial arts films made by Hollywood. I think the second one will be Kill Bill. And hopefully the third one will be The Man With The Iron Fists.”

An important part of RZA’s journey from Abbott of the Wu-Tang Clan to certified Hollywood director, was linking with Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino. While putting together the movie’s soundtrack soundtrack, RZA got to spend time on the film’s set, and he considers Tarantino a mentor. Thus, the Reservoir Dogs director was down with lending his “producer” and “presenter” credit to his pupil’s new film. “I needed to separate this film from the rest of the Asian films in the world,” explained RZA. “Because they make a hundred of these a year, what makes my film separate and different? I tell you what, Quentin Tarantino presents baby! That’s a stamp of approval right?”

Punch your ticket and check The Man With The Iron Fists, in theaters today.


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Photo: NY Times