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RZA and Wesley Snipes on their film 'Cut Throat City' and a shared love of martial arts

Wesley Snipes and "Cut Throat City" director RZA talk martial arts, the film's setting post-Hurricane Katrina and Snipes' previous life as a DJ. From the L.A. Times studio at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.

Director and Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA and Wesley Snipes share a surprising connection — their passion for martial arts. During Comic-Con, the two stopped by the L.A. Times photo studio to expand on their deep reverence for the art form and RZA’s new heist drama “Cut Throat City.”

“My love of martial arts started in the ’70s with Run Run Shaw and the Golden Harvest films and watching Bruce Lee and ‘Five Deadly Venoms,’” Snipes said.

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“It’s crazy, his answer is my answer, and that’s not a planned thing,” RZA said. “Those movies and that inspiration led us to look out and seek training and books and now we are actually people helping to spread that culture.”

RZA — who directed 2012’s “The Man With the Iron Fists” — shifted away from martial arts to tell the story of four childhood friends who return home to New Orleans after Katrina in “Cut Throat City.” Premiering in 2019, the film stars Snipes, Shameik Moore, T.I. and Terrence Howard.

“You’ve got to think about how many families were destroyed by Katrina,” RZA said. “In our film you’ll see that these young kids had aspirations. … To me the desperation pushes our characters to have to pull a heist.”

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