By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 10, 2011 at 3:03AM
"...but what I really want to do is direct" is a phrase is commonly tossed around by actors in Hollywood but few of them ever make the leap. It's a big transition to go from being in front of the camera to being behind, commanding an entire project from start to finish; a daunting task that can overwhelm even the most powerful players in the industry. But as folks like Clint Eastwood, Jon Favreau, George Clooney and more have shown, the leap can be made and done very successfully, which is why we'll be keeping an eye on Keanu Reeves.
The actor has been talking about "Man of Tai Chi" for a while now as a potential directing and starring vehicle. The martial arts film would also star Tiger Chen -- one of the stunt men on "The Matrix" sequels -- with Reeves as the villain in the contemporary-set film that he boasted earlier this year would not hold back on the fisticuffs. "There's 18 fights. We've timed it out. It's about 40 minutes of fighting," he told MTV. "I want to make a good, solid kung fu movie. Good story, good plot — but let's get some good kung fu going!" Now it appears it might be closer to happening.
The Wrap reports that China Film Group and Village Roadshow Pictures are negotiating to finance the film which will be in both English and Mandarin. Of course, that's about all we know right now and there's no word on when those production companies would want to the film to get rolling, but considering Reeves just wrapped "47 Ronin" and his calendar is free right now, this may be happening sooner than we thought.
Say what you will about his acting ability (or perhaps lack thereof), but Reeves is certainly very well versed in kung fu and the stunt choreography behind it, so it will be very interesting to see what he brings to the table. At the very least, he's not gonna skimp on the action. As for that title? Yeah, no one reading 'Tai Chi' is going to think "action extravaganza," so they might want to change that up.