How RZA's 'The Man with the Iron Fists' Was Originally in 'Django Unchained'

How RZA's 'The Man with the Iron Fists' Was Originally in 'Django Unchained'

Oct 22, 2012

RZA is a rapper, producer, author, actor and – with his first feature film The Man with the Iron Fists – director. The multi-talented mind behind groundbreaking rap group the Wu-Tang Clan has teamed up with two Hollywood heavyweights for his latest project: Eli Roth, who cowrote the screenplay with RZA, and Quentin Tarantino, who is presenting the film. sat down with RZA while he was in New York City promoting the movie (which he also stars in), and we had to ask – is the character he plays in Iron Fists, a mysterious weapon maker named the Blacksmith living in a small, warring 19th century Chinese town, a tie-in to his friend and mentor Tarantino’s upcoming film Django Unchained?

Turns out, there was a would-be connection between the films – check out what RZA had to say, and stay tuned for the rest of the interview soon! Your character the Blacksmith has a backstory as a slave named Thaddeus Henry Smith before he assumes his new alias. Is there a Django Unchained tie-in with him, by any chance?

RZA: Well, I couldn't do it. We tried to do it. There was a tie! And because of the schedule for Iron Fists, I had to let another character do it. I didn't make it into the film. The idea was that Thaddeus would be on the auction block. You've seen the trailer, when the camera passes by all the guys? So Thaddeus is supposed to be on that line. So is the Django tie-in why you wrote the Blacksmith's backstory into Iron Fists?

RZA: No, when Quentin started writing Django he was up to only page 20, and me and Eli were finished. And we brought in New Year's together, and we were telling each other stories and kicking it, you know – just guys being guys. "And my scene – I got a scene like this and a scene like that." So then when Quentin finished Django, he read the whole thing to me – it was 90-some pages at the time. I spent a few days with him. And this is right before I went to China. And then when I came back I was like, "Yo Quentin - we should have Thaddeus… one of the slaves is Thaddeus!" So this way, we'd tie both movies together. And I told him that'd be the ultimate tie-in that'd really rock the fans. And he's like, "Yeah – you're right!" But, my schedule f**ked it up.


For even more about RZA’s character, check out the prequel animated short he just released, The Man with the Iron Fists – The Encounter.


The Man with the Iron Fists hits theaters November 2.

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