The Man with the Iron Fists is a 2012 American martial arts film directed by RZA and written by RZA and Eli Roth. The film stars RZA, Russell Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu, Byron Mann, Rick Yune, Dave Bautista, and Jamie Chung. Set in 19th century China, the story follows a series of lone warriors who are forced to unite to defeat a common foe, development began in 2005 when RZA shared his idea for the film with Roth. After nearly two years of development, Roth and RZA secured financial backing in May 2010, filming began in December 2010 on a $15 million budget and concluded by March 2011. The film was shot in Shanghai and at locations in China. RZA and Howard Drossin composed the musical score, and RZA produced its soundtrack. A series of concerts featuring music from the soundtrack were held to promote the film, the film was released in North America on November 2,2012. The performances of Crowe and Mann were well received, the film earned $19 million at the box office. In nineteenth century China, Jungle Village is home to several warring clans, the village blacksmith creates deadly weapons for the clans, intending to use his payments to purchase the freedom of his lover Lady Silk, and leave the village. The regions governor tasks the Lion Clans leader Gold Lion with protecting a shipment of gold that must pass through the village. Gold is betrayed by his lieutenants Silver Lion and Bronze Lion and they use the chaos ensuing from a fight with the Hyena Clan to allow their co-conspirator Poison Dagger—the governors aide—to assassinate Gold, after which Silver becomes the Lions leader. Golds son Zen-Yi learns of his fathers murder and sets off to the village to seek revenge, the Emperors undercover emissary Jack Knife arrives in the village to monitor the gold and takes up residence in the Pink Blossom, a brothel run by Madam Blossom, Lady Silks madame. Silver sends members of the Rodent clan to kill Zen-Yi before he can reach the village, the mercenary Brass Body arrives in the village and meets with Silver, he is sent to kill Zen-Yi. The blacksmith meets with Silk in the brothel and delivers the final payment needed to free her, after arriving in the village, Zen-Yi and his men are confronted by Brass and find that they cannot physically harm him because his skin turns to metal on impact. Brass beats Zen-Yi and destroys his blade-laden armor, Zen-Yis last surviving man sacrifices himself to pull a canopy support beam loose, burying Brass under heavy stone. The blacksmith is watching the fight, he rescues Zen-Yi and helps him recover as penance for crafting the weapon that killed Zen-Yis father, meanwhile, the gold shipment arrives in the village, accompanied by two skilled warriors, the Geminis. The Lions soon confront the Geminis and their men, and in the fight, Poison Dagger assassinates the Geminis. Jack later arrives to investigate the incident and learns that the Geminis were poisoned with mercury-tipped weapons, the Lions theft prompts the governor to send his Jackal troops to recover the shipment or destroy the village
Theatrical release poster
A selection of the film's cast. Clockwise: Rick Yune, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Cung Le, Jamie Chung, and David Bautista.
RZA in 2009. The Man with the Iron Fists is his first feature film as director