Keanu Reeves Wants ‘Man Of Tai Chi’ To Be More Than Action

If you’ve been paying attention at all to what Keanu Reeves has been up to lately, you should know that he’s prepping his directorial debut, “Man of Tai Chi.” Now, usually when an actor makes his or her transition to directing, it’s usually with a smaller indie film to work out the kinks.

That’s not what Reeves is doing.

“Man of Tai Chi” is an ambitious, big-budget martial arts film, one that Reeves has been working out in his head for half a decade and one that will employ some state-of-the-art technology to take the audience into a fight like never before.

MTV News’ Josh Horowitz spoke with Reeves at the premiere for his new filmmaking documentary, “Side by Side,” to ask why he decided to go so big with his first effort.

For Reeves, choosing “Man of Tai Chi” as his first feature film came down to necessity. “It was the story I was hoping to tell,” he said. “I had worked on the script for about five, six years, and it just eventually became in my head, and I had to tell the story.”

But he needed to tell the story on his terms. Reeves is an unabashed fan of martial arts films, but he needed his film to be more than just a series of fight sequences. “My take on it was to not have action for action’s sake and try to incorporate instead of action sequences… they were also story telling, not just plot but character development,” he said. “It wasn’t just evil versus good or angry and defending. It was a little more about the journey of this person and going through the martial arts of who they were and who they are.”

As always with Reeves, there are lingering questions about the status of a third “Bill and Ted” movie. Last week, we learned that “Galaxy Quest” director Dean Parisot had joined the film, signaling some forward progress for the sequel. Reeves offered a brief updated and filled us in on the rehearsal sessions Alex Winter told us about earlier this year.

“We like the script. We’re just going to see if we can get it made,” Reeves said, adding that he and Winter had, in fact, gone back into versions of the characters for early rehearsals. “We’ve stayed really great friends, so it’s always great to see him and with the writers, saying some of the dialogue, just to see how that would feel, and it was interesting.”

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