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First Draft: Here Are 20 of the Hottest Public Domain Properties For Screenwriters

First Draft: Here Are 20 of the Hottest Public Domain Properties For Screenwriters

First Draft

13. Fu Manchu

The first three Fu Manchu books—written by British author Sax Rohmer—were published prior to 1922 and are thus part of the public domain in the United States. Anything after that is strictly off limits, including the usage of characters like his daughter Fah Lo Suee. She was mentioned in a later book.

The character has been portrayed in over forty films by the likes of H. Agar Lyons, Warner Oland, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, and Peter Sellers—but never by an Asian man. He has also been portrayed in earlier television and radio shows.

Fu Manchu is not just a villain. He’s a super-villain. So some creative writing choices would need to be made in order to feature this character.

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