The Wu Tang Clan’s founding figure RZA is a life-long fan of Hong Kong and Taiwanese martial arts movies and after years of paying tribute to the genre through his music, RZA’s love letter to the genre The Man with the Iron Fists hit the screen a few years ago. Although trumpeted as '...presented by Quentin Tarantino', the film was very much RZA’s project all the way. He wrote it along with Eli Roth - directed and starred in the movie as the title character who becomes The Man with the Iron Fists. The film recived a mixed response, we do feel that post-production interference saw much of the ‘Kung Fu’ that was shot for the movie cast aside, as early reports back from the shoot had hinted at the possibility of two separate ...Iron Fists movies being released, and the cast and crew certainly had their martial credentials.
Now sometime after we first reported a potential sequel , word reaches us from Thailand of a sequel having been shot, Man with the Iron Fists 2: The Sting of the Scorpion which sees the return of RZA’s character, the Blacksmith, in another martial arts adventure. This time round, RZA is leading man and scriptwriter, while Death Race 2 and 3 director Roel Reine takes the helm. (We’ve long been admirers of Roel’s work on such projects as Death Race prequels, the recent Seal Team Eight: Behind Enemy Lines and The Marine 2.) Sources say he knows how to shoot action and serves as his own cinematographer AND really works well with his actors... and can do miracles with a budget,. We’re excited to see what he can do with Iron Fists 2 and his epic Dutch movie Michiel De Ruyter.
RZA - who recently faced off with Tony Jaa in the entertaining if disjointed Tom Yum Goong 2:3D and is currently part of the ensemble cast of the new Gang Related TV series -headlines the sequel, while Dustin Nguyen from The Rebel and Once Upon a Time in Vietnam, the great Cary Tagawa from Mortal Kombat, Covert Affairs and Bodyguard: A New Beginning's bad guy Carl Ng, martial arts master Ocean Hou from Man of Tai Chi, actor turned director Simon Yin from Supercapitalist all play major roles in the film. The Gemini Twins' Andrew Lin (Black Sheep Affair) & Grace Huang (Cold War) return for a cameo appearance. Impact’s own Man with the Iron Belly, Mike Leeder, handled casting for the project but remains tight lipped even to us about the plot... despite being offered a case of twiglets.
We really enjoyed the first ...Iron Fists but felt it didn’t really live up to its potential in the finished version. It will be interesting to see what audiences make of more adventures set in the world that RZA has created... and it looks like we’ll get the chance with the sequel which is set to be released at the end of the year. If it is well received bodes well for further sequels.