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Russell Crowe Aboard RZA's Kung Fu Epic, "The Man With the Iron Fist"

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    Russell Crowe

    Wu-Tang Clan co-founder RZA has convinced his old friend Russell Crowe to take the title role in his directorial debut, a kung fu film set in feudal China.

    "The Man With the Iron Fist" will star Crowe as "the baddest man alive," RZA told E! Online. "That man is in fighting shape. That man will knock you out."

    The project, for which RZA got help from both Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth, was originally announced back in May.

    "It started with a trip RZA and I took with Quentin (Tarantino) to Iceland in 2005," Roth told Deadline Hollywood. "We flew back, ended up snowed in in Boston, staying at my parents' house in Newton. Turned out that my dad and RZA grew up in Brooklyn and went to the same Brownsville  junior high school and swam in the same public pool. He hooked me on his dream of directing and reinventing the Kung Fu movie genre. It reminded me of my love of horror."

    Crowe and RZA go way back, having co-starred in both "America Gangster," for which they collaborated on song that was ultimately cut from the soundtrack, and the upcoming "The Next Three Days," from director Paul Haggis.

    If you want an idea of what kind of magic RZA has in store for you, this summer on-set footage from "Wu-Tang vs. The Golden Phoenix" found its way online. Check it out below:

    RZA's dealt with all manner of personalities (RIP ODB) as a member of Wu-Tang, but working with Crowe is proving to be a whole new experience for him.

    "It's nerve-wracking," RZA said of directing Crowe. "He's a master of the craft. I'm quite sure that I may learn something from him."

    Just keep him away from the phones, RZA.