Salman Khan is apparently preparing to play the Mongol chief Chingis Khan (or Genghis Khan, or Changaiz Khan, spell it which way you will). This is what Salman looks like:
At least, this is what he looks like after a hair transplant, hair extensions and some Photoshop work.
We don't know what Chingis-Genghis-Changaiz looked like, there are no contemporary images of him. But from portraits painted a few years after his death, we can accept he looked something like this:
Now you might think Salman doesn't look much like the guy to whom he owes his surname. But then, how much does this actor resemble Chingis-Genghis-Changaiz, who did not even share a surname with the emperor?
John Wayne was cast as Chingis (sick of name extensions, I'm dropping Genghis-Changaiz) in a film titled The Conqueror, produced by Howard Hughes, who saw it as an 'Eastern Western'. The Conqueror, released in 1956, has gone down in history for two reasons. First, it is considered one of the worst cases of miscasting in the history of Hollywood.
Second, the exteriors were shot in Utah, downwind from a US nuclear test site in Nevada. Of the 220 crew members, 91 developed cancer over the next two decades, about three times the proportion of the average American population.
Weirdly enough, Chingis Khan has been, at one point or another, considered Indian as well as Caucasian. The Indian bit came early on. Europeans didn't know much about this country back in the 13th century, but they had a vague understanding that St.Thomas had converted a few heathens here. When Chingis first came to their notice, it was as a warrior kicking the butts of Muslim kings. Roman Catholics, who'd waged long wars for control of the Holy Land, took this as a sign that a Christian priest-king they called Prester John was riding out from the east to retake Jerusalem. They applauded as the Mongols overran West Asian kingdoms, grew a little apprehensive when Russia and East Europe were attacked, and finally concluded: "These guys aren't Christians, they aren't Indians, they're coming to get us, and we're screwed." Luckily for them, the Mongol invasion of Europe was aborted at the gates of Vienna.
As for Chingis's European connections, that's a modern tale, but one no less peculiar. Hitler, you may have heard, was a fan of Chingis Khan. Genocidal rulers being a relatively small and select group, this is not surprising. But fitting Chingis into the Aryan pantheon was tricky. The problem was solved by Heinrich Himmler, who decided that Chingis was in fact descended from people who had fled the island of Atlantis before it sank, and was, therefore, as blue eyed as John Wayne.
As a sidelight, the Mongol invasion of Europe explains why children with Down syndrome used to be called Mongoloid. You may think it was only because of the epicanthic fold of the eyelid, but there was more to it than that. Scientists believed that Down Syndrome sufferers represented genetic atavism (from the Latin at-avus, or like-grandfather); they expressed traits suppressed for centuries. Mongols had raped or otherwise slept with European women during the 13th century invasion, and those traits within Europe's genetic pool occasionally burst to the surface. Children with Down Syndrome were like normal Mongol children, and the impairment of cognitive ability associated with the condition was explained by the fact that Mongols were not as bright as whites. A British doctor, F G Crookshank, published a book in 1924 titled The Mongol in our Midst, which explained that since most Mongols were imbeciles, it was to be expected that Mongols who atavistically appeared in Europe should share that imbecility. The book was generally well reviewed.
As it happens, the nations of North and East Asia, Mongolia included, score exceptionally well in IQ tests. From the information available today, it appears that average IQs in these nations (China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan) are 2 to 5 points higher than those measured in white-majority countries.