Kevin Feige Addresses Casting Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One

'Doctor Strange'Credit: Disney
Better late than never... 

Sometimes you can overthink a casting, especially in a comic book movie. People are always trying to get things accurate or trying to find a happy medium with some of the characters, who were created in the past but might need a socially acceptable upgrade to the present. 

When they were casting Doctor Strange, Kevin Feige and director Scott Derrickson wanted to stay away from the "Fu Manchu" stereotype of the wise old Asian person. In order to subvert that, they thought having a woman be the character was a great compromise. 

'Doctor Strange'Credit: Disney
But as Feige told Men’s Health, that might have made things complicated for no reason. And it was wrong. 

"We thought we were being so smart, and so cutting-edge. We’re not going to do the cliché of the wizened, old, wise Asian man. But it was a wake-up call to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, is there any other way to figure it out? Is there any other way to both not fall into the cliché and cast an Asian actor?’ And the answer to that, of course, is yes.”

Marvel has usually been good with its casting and respect of cultures.  While they've certainly made mistakes, the one thing I value the most from them is what they're learning. Each misstep comes with a correction. 

What are some other Marvel missteps you'd like to see them adjust? Let us know in the comments.      

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3 Comments

None, they're fine.
Can't be perfect all the time and as far as multi-billion dollar movies go, MCU is alright when it comes to wokeness.

May 22, 2021 at 3:35AM

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Nothing in this article makes clear what any 'problem' was with casting Swinton in the role. What's wrong with casting a talented actor in a role? Actors pretend to be others as their stock and trade. They pretend. They can pretend to be anything, even non-human. Perhaps reading too much into it is the real travesty here.

May 25, 2021 at 5:16PM

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Robert Bryant
Writer, Editor, Sound Designer
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Yeah, nobody is actually bothered by this.

May 30, 2021 at 4:17PM

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