Radius-TWC acquired the Directors Fortnight film Blue Ruin over the weekend, and have now made a second deal, this time for Keanu Reeves’ highly anticipated kung-fu epic, Man of Tai Chi. In a deal worth seven figures, Radius-TWC acquired all North American rights to the film, and plan to release Man of Tai Chi in the final quarter of 2013.
Per Deadline: The film is set in modern Beijing and follows the spiritual journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) whose unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club. As the fights grow tougher, he must compromise his own beliefs in order to survive.
Chen worked on The Matrix as a stuntman and trainer for Reeves, and Man of Tai Chi will be his first leading role. However, action superstar Iko Uwais (The Raid, Merantau) also appears in the film, along with the femme fatale of the story Karen Mok (East Meets West), and Reeves himself will be playing the films villain.
Michael G. Cooney wrote the script and Man Of Tai Chi is a co-production between China Film Group, Wanda Media, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Universal Pictures. Lemore Syvan is the producer.
Radius-TWC co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego confirmed the deal to Deadline: “Keanu has done a terrific job with Man Of Tai Chi, which features some of the most kick ass fight scenes we’ve seen in a long time. Tiger Chen, Iko Uwais and a whole ensemble of hard hitting badasses deliver the goods.”
Reeves spoke of his excitement: “I could not hope for a better home than Radius-TWC for Man Of Tai Chi. Their passion, understanding and support of the film is what a filmmaker wishes for in bringing their storytelling to the widest possible audience.”
Keanu Reeves is directing the kung-fu epic which he says: “There’s 18 fights. We’ve timed it out. It’s about 40 minutes of fighting. I want to make a good, solid kung fu movie. Good story, good plot—but let’s get some good kung fu going!”
Reeves will also star in the film as the villain, and already he has cast Tiger Chen (who worked on the stunt team in The Matrix) as the protagonist, and Karen Mok (East Meets West) as the femme fatale. The story revolves around “In Beijing, a young martial artist’s skill places him in position to experience opportunities and sacrifices”