Keanu Reeves directs and stars in 'Man of Tai Chi,' due out later this year. He spent five years developing the storyline, based loosely on 'Matrix' stuntman Tiger Chen, whom Keanu Reeves befriended while filming the trilogy.
AP / File
Keanu Reeves played a science-fiction hero, an LAPD cop, and even Hamlet. But now actor Keanu Reeves is taking on a new role: director of a contemporary martial arts movie — aimed at both Chinese and Western audiences.
Keanu Reeves has stepped behind the camera to make his directorial debut with "Man of Tai Chi", a trilingual film loosely based on the life of a stuntman, Tiger Chen, whom he befriended while working on the sci-fi "Matrix" trilogy.
At the Cannes film festival to promote his new movie, due out later this year, Reeves said he knew he had always wanted to try directing and spent five years developing the script.
"It was also tied to getting older," admitted the long-time Hollywood heartthrob, in an interview with Reuters Television at a hotel on Cannes' palm-lined waterfront.
He said the main character of the film, played by Chen, is a stuntman and martial arts expert who is struggling to maintain his traditional values and beliefs against the pressures of modern society.