Casting Fu Manchu is an exploration of Yellow Peril in light of COVID-19. In 1912, when Sax Rohmer invented his character Dr. Fu Manchu - the evil Chinese doctor set on world domination - Yellow Peril was rife. Often painted as a faceless existential threat to the ‘Western world’, East Asians were seen as a force that needed to be suppressed. In response to successive white actors applying ‘yellow face’ to play the fictional villain, including Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, the film will subvert these racist tropes through re-imagining Fu Manchu in 2020.
Through a casting call, actors of East and SE Asian heritage based in the UK will be invited to audition for the role of Fu Manchu by submitting self tapes. Actors will read scenes from Fu Manchu films and present their own versions of the character. Actors will also be invited to respond to a series of interview questions exploring their responses to the character as well as wider experiences of the acting profession. A selection of the audition tapes will form the basis of the film. These scenes will be edited together with clips from Fu Manchu films and found footage depicting media images of villains, monsters and fear.
Audition / Rehearsal / Production datesDeadline for self tapes: Fri 28th August
Successful actors notified: Thurs 10th Sept
Interviews with 3 x actors: Thurs 17th Sept
Film online release: Dec 2020
Fixed price of £100 - £100 for use of self tape in the film. £50 for additional online interview if required. An additional fee will be paid for contributions to the marketing campaign.
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Dr. Fu Manchu (Male or female)
(Although Fu Manchu was originally written as male, we are seeking a range of actors to re-imagine the character as female, male, trans or non-binary. Fu Manchu expands his considerable lifespan through drinking the elixir of life, a formula he spent decades trying to perfect. We are keen to re-imagine the character at any age).
Anyone, aged 18 and over
Applications closed 29 August 2020.