Racially insensitive, classic, arch-criminal Fu Manchu may soon return to the screen… again. This time he probably won’t be played by Nic Cage, but we can hope.

The character was originally conceived by early 20th century English author Sax Rohmer. Dr. Fu Manchu was an evil genius mastermind of Chinese origin, described as looking a lot like Satan. Rohmer also called him “the yellow peril incarnate”. I suppose he thought “chink” was just too obvious. In the 60s the character showed up in movies played by Christopher Lee, and spawned an awesome new mustache style while stereotyping Chinese people as yellow devils.

So it’s kind of ironic/appropriate that the character is being resurrected by Distant Horizons, a company from that hotbed of racial tolerance known as South Africa. This time he won’t be a bad guy, instead they’re pitching him as more of an anti-hero who “fits in with a more socially conscious world and that addresses the very complex multipolar world we all live in today.” That’s corporate speak for “we’re not going to be all racist about it.”

To further justify bringing back a vaguely racist character, The Hollywood Reporter says Distant Horizons plans to bring in Chinese and Hong Kong filmmakers to work with them on it. That way they can all talk about how many Chinese friends they have when doing press junkets.

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