Keanu Reeves stopped by the Cannes Film Festival this week to promote his upcoming martial arts flick.
The Matrix star is making his directorial debut with Man of Tai Chi. The project was financed by the folks at China Film Group, who called the movie the “most important co-production” the company is involved with this year.
Reeves wrapped production on the flick just a few days ago. The actor and budding filmmaker shot the movie in Beijing and Hong Kong with an international cast. Both Reeves and his financiers are hoping that the film will appeal to audiences across the globe.
Keanu Reeves explained that his love of martial arts movies started with Bruce Lee. However, his appreciation for the genre grew after working with Tiger Chen and Yuen Woo Ping on the set of The Matrix. The actor said that kung fu movies are “beautiful, exotic, wonderful, and empowering.”
“It’s like play. There’s something childlike about it. They are fake fights — and that’s fun,” the 48-year-old explained to The Guardian.
Man of Tai Chi tells the story of a delivery guy who also happens to be an accomplished martial artist. After getting involved with a shady businessman portrayed by Reeves, the hero soon finds himself engulfed in an underground fight tournament.
“About four or five years ago I started to think about directing. My dictum was I would only direct if I had a story to tell and, having developed the script over this length of time, it became a story I wanted to tell and one I didn’t want anybody else to tell,” Keanu Reeves told Total Film.
According to Deadline, Man of Tai Chi is expected to open in China on July 5. The movie should hit other markets later this year. It’s currently unclear when the flick will arrive in North America.
Do you plan to catch Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut when it arrives in theaters?