Most American audiences aren’t familiar with the villainous Dr. Mabuse, the German mad scientist who is such a misanthrope that he doesn’t want to rule the world, he wants to destroy it.
Mabus first appeared in a novel by Luxembourg novelist Norbert Jacques in 1920. Mabuse was a doctor of psychology, a powerful telepathic hypnotist and a master of disguise. He also clearly fit into the same pulp category as Sax Rhomer’s Fu Manchu and the French thief Fantomas did, where the villain of the story is far more interesting than the hero ever manages to be.
Immensely popular in Europe, the evil Mabuse was first adapted to the silver screen by Fritz Lang in the 1922 silent four-hour classic Dr. Mabuse The Gambler. In addition to two more films from Lang – 1933’s The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse and 1960’s The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse – the character has appeared in a number of European-produced films. Actors essaying the part of Mabuse include Wolfgang Preiss and Goldfinger himself Gert Froebe.
Variety is reporting today that a new Dr. Mabuse film is currently gearing up, with its producer Christian Becker hopes to be “a big contemporary theatrical action thriller with socio-critical overtones.” Filming is set to begin next year. As of now, there is no American distributor lined up for the film.