Keanu Reeves' 'Man of Tai Chi' Kicks Into Gear

[caption id="attachment_98986" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Getty Images"]Keanu Reeves[/caption]

You know Keanu Reeves knows kung fu. Now, he's going to direct kung fu.

We reported a while back that the "Matrix" star was gearing up to make his directorial debut with "Man of Tai Chi," a martial arts film that Reeves himself describes as having "about 40 minutes of fighting." Now that directorial debut has been officially given the green light, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Universal Pictures will be handling domestic distribution on the film, which will be shot in China and co-financed by Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, China Film Group, Wanda Media and Universal.

"Man of Tai Chi" stars Tiger Chen, who was part of the behind-the-scenes kung fu team on "The Matrix," as a young martial artist whose fighting skills bring him to a realm of vast opportunities ... and painful choices. Reeves himself will play the film's villain, something he proved he could do rather well with his role as the abusive husband/possible murderer in Sam Raimi's "The Gift."

Speaking of martial arts, Keanu Reeves will be appearing (and probably fighting) in the epic samurai tale, "47 Ronin," opening Nov. 21, 2012. And, hopefully, some day, in a third "Bill and Ted" movie.

"Man of Tai Chi" is set to begin production in February.