Photo: Nicholas Hunt (Getty Images)

RZA likes kung fu. We’ve known that since Wu-Tang Clan released Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) 25 years ago, but we saw it in earnest when the rapper followed his directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists, with an episode of Netflix’s Iron Fist and the pursuit of a kung fu-themed bar with the Alamo Drafthouse. Now, however, the multi-hyphenate is here to show us another side of his creativity with Cut Throat City, a New Orleans-set heist thriller he’s directing.

Slated for release next year, the film’s got an impressive cast: Wesley Snipes, Terrence Howard, Eiza González, Kat Graham, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Joel David Moore, Isiah Washington, Keean Johnson, Sam Daly, Denzel Whitaker, Rob Morgan, Rich Paul, Demetrius Shipp Jr., and Shameik Moore. Today, Deadline announced that Prince Rakeem just scored another huge get in Ethan Hawke, who will almost surely get an Oscar nomination this year for his turn in Paul Schrader’s First Reformed.


Hawke will play Jackson Symms, a good-hearted city councilman and retired NOLA deputy chief in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. His character oversees the 9th Ward, where, driven by desperation, a group of childhood friends plan a daring casino heist that, surprise, goes wrong. What follows is a crime spree, an investigation, and a pissed-off gang leader.

“You’ve got to think about how many families were destroyed by Katrina,” RZA said of the film earlier this year. “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.”

Watch a trailer for the film below.