Outside The Matrix
Updated: 2013-07-09 09:57
By Liu Wei (chinadaily.com.cn)
Keanu Reeves. Photo provided to China Daily
Power and control is something the first-timer needs when directing a team of Chinese, Americans, Japanese and Australians.
"I am not that kind of yelling director," he says. "Having acted for years, I know how to take care of actors. I have my opinion, but you can have something different, and I will listen to you and ask what other crew members think about."
Yuen and Chen say Reeves had fits on the set but was cursing himself. Reeves doesn't deny that.
"That's generally what I am doing in action scenes," he says.
"If I do the wire and what happens is not right, I will go away and yell, because my chi was wasted. I have to collect it again and start over."
Scriptwriting turned out to be the most time-consuming part of the production.
The film was originally written in English. Reeves found someone to translate it into Chinese and invited three Chinese writers to polish it to ensure it appeals to both cultures.
The film's Chinese production company China Film Group supported on venues, funding and censorship suggestions, such as how bloody the fight scenes should be.
Reeves says he's confident Chinese and US viewers will enjoy it.
"The genre is still loved by international audiences," he says.
"And the issues are universal, such as a humble boy becomes a kung fu hero, and how he falls into a dark world and goes out of it. That is not only Eastern. We Westerners understand it well, too. It is a universal story of humankind."
Keanu Reeves makes director debut with modern kungfu film