While there has been plenty of excitement surrounding Doctor Strange since the first trailer debuted earlier this month, there has also been plenty of controversy surrounding the upcoming film. As fans of the comics are aware, The Ancient One, who serves as the mentor to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), is depicted as being an elderly Tibetan male in the comics. So when it was revealed that Tilda Swinton – a white female – had been cast in the role last year, plenty of fans were a bit frustrated. It has become a notable topic over recent months, leading to plenty of debates from fans and critics alike.
C. Robert Cargill, who worked on the script for the film alongside director Scott Derrickson, admitted that part of the reason for changing the race and gender of the character for the film was due to the international box office. He also revealed that it was essentially a “lose-lose” situation no matter how they went about presenting the character in the film, so when they had the chance to cast someone of Swinton’s caliber, it was an opportunity that they couldn’t pass up.
Now, more than likely as a result of Cargill’s recent interview, and Swinton’s comments regarding her portrayal of the character in the film, Marvel has officially responded to the controversy surrounding The Ancient One, revealing something that may be of interest to fans: this depiction of the Ancient One will be Celtic.
Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.
As Captain America: Civil War prepares to hit theaters next weekend, we can expect Marvel to start kicking off the marketing for Doctor Strange over the coming months.
Doctor Strange will hit movie theaters on November 4th, 2016.
Source: Comic Book Resources.