October 29, 2012 8:30am PT by Borys Kit
RZA to Direct Genghis Khan Biopic and Action Thriller 'No Man's Land' (Exclusive)
With his directorial debut, The Man With the Iron Fists, debuting in theaters Friday, RZA is solidifying his career as a filmmaker with two new projects.
The hip-hip producer and Wu-Tang Clan frontman has signed on to direct John Milius’ epic biopic Genghis Khan and also has boarded the action thriller No Man’s Land.
The Khan biopic has been in the works for years, with Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn), who wrote the script and is exec producing, originally on board to direct. One incarnation even had Mickey Rourke starring.
Khan, one of the great military figures in world history, is the ruler who united the Mongol tribes and conquered great parts of Asia and Eastern Europe in the early 13th century. The story will be told from the point of view of Khan’s son and grandson.
Andre Morgan and Peter Lam are producing the project, which is prepping for a shoot in China next year and will take RZA back to the country where he shot Iron Fists.
No Man’s Land is being produced by Bill Mechanic and his Pandemonium production banner as well as Reginald Hudlin, a producer on Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.
The script, by Trey Ellis and David Klass, centers on a man who steals a powerful criminal's diamond that soon proves to be far more valuable than initially thought. With the help of a dancer, he attempts to stay alive and cash in on the jewel. The story takes place during one night and has been described as having echoes of The Warriors.
Land, which likely will be RZA’s next project, also initiates the partnership between RZA and Hudlin that was announced at this year’s Comic-Con. (The two also are adapting the Grant Morrison comic book Happy!)
RZA made his transition into movies first by scoring and then acting. Man With the Iron Fists, which Universal opens Nov. 2, is his screenwriting debut as well. (He co-wrote the martial arts actioner with Eli Roth.) RZA also stars in the movie along with Russell Crowe, Rick Yune and Lucy Liu.
He is repped by ICM Partners and Joe Carlone and Peter Nichols of Lichter Grossman.