Now that Marvel has finally found its Doctor Strange in the form of internet darling Benedict Cumberbatch, the studio is moving ahead with filling in the rest of the main cast. One incredibly important role is that of The Ancient One, Doctor Strange’s mentor and the man who grants him the title Sorcerer Supreme.
According to Latino Review, Marvel is eyeing three heavy hitters for the role, who are all familiar with playing wise and other-worldly elders: Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy and Morgan Freeman.
In the comics, the Ancient One is said to come from Tibet, so technically, Watanabe is the closest fit for the role. However, we’ve seen time and again that race-swapping is common practice in comic-to-screen adaptations, and with actors of Freeman and Nighy’s calibre, we wouldn’t blame Marvel for making a few creative deviations from the source material.
Watanabe and Freeman are no strangers to the superhero genre, as they both appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy as the fake Ra’s al Ghul and Wayne Enterprises tech-guru Lucius Fox, respectively. Freeman himself has experience playing a wise old wizard, thanks to his role as Vitruvius in The LEGO Movie. Then there’s Nighy, who’s appeared in several high-profile blockbuster franchises – including Underworld, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean – but has yet to share screentime with superheroes.
Any of these actors would be a great fit for the Ancient One, so it may just boil down to how well they’d work opposite Cumberbatch.
As always, we’ll keep you updated on this casting news as it develops. Until then, let us know who you’d like to play the Ancient One in the comments section below.
Directed by Scott Derrickson, Doctor Strange is set to hit theaters on November 4th, 2016.