jack nicholson to star in wayne wang's charlie chan movie?

Wayne Wang wants to make a Charlie Chan movie starring Jack Nicholson.

Um. What?

Wang, the director of movies like Chan is Missing, The Joy Luck Club and most recently Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, reportedly wants to make a modern big-screen adaptation of the fictional Chinese American detective... starring Jack Nicholson: Jack Nicholson to play detective?
"I am hoping I can convince Jack Nicholson to do this part - do the actor who plays Charlie Chan - because he is actually a big fan and did some imitations for me that were hilarious," he revealed.

One of Wayne's early films was 1982's Chan Is Missing, an in-joke on the Charlie Chan character.

"I did option the story of Charlie Chan, a book about the real story to Charlie Chan - it came out about a year ago and got very good notices," continued the director.

"The series was about a Chinese detective who was usually played by a Caucasian with his eyes taped. The character is based on a real detective in the Honolulu police department."
Is this a joke? If I'm not mistaken, the book he's referring to is Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang.

As for Jack Nicholson, say it ain't so! It would have to be some kind of ironic comment on traditional racist casting of the role... right? Perhaps a humorous meta-movie on the making of Charlie Chan? Right?

UPDATE: I'm told that Nicholson is being pursued for the role of Warner Oland, the Caucasian actor who played Charlie Chan in yellowface. It certainly adds an interesting layer to the situation. This will not be your typical Charlie Chan story -- more of a movie about the figures behind the Charlie Chan mythos. I think I can get on board with that. (Thanks, Phil.)

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