As Marvel ramps up to shoot Doctor Strange this November, the studio and director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) are busy putting together a top-tier supporting cast to battle the forces of darkness against Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme. Rumors have been flying left and right about which actress could take on the lead female role in the superhero blockbuster, with True Detective star Rachel McAdams emerging as the frontrunner for a key (but still unspecified) part. Now, the actress has gone record to confirm that she’s at least been approached by Marvel – if not that she has signed on quite yet.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, McAdams said that talks have been taking place but warned fans against getting their hopes up too high:
It’s still super-early days, and I don’t know where that’s gonna go – if it’s gonna go anywhere at all.
That’s certainly progress – McAdams had declined to comment on her possible involvement in previous interviews. And it’s worth noting that it took some time after Tilda Swinton was reported to be in talks for the part of Strange’s mentor, The Ancient One, before the actress herself could confirm that she would be in the film. These deals take time, and performers typically downplay rumors that could draw attention to them and lead someone involved to get cold feet before ink has hit paper.
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In the meantime, although McAdams isn’t a sure thing, Swinton is all set to share the screen with Cumberbatch, and she recently dropped an interesting tidbit about her character to The Guardian. According to the article:
“She will soon start shooting a Marvel blockbuster, Doctor Strange, but there is a Swinton-esque twist – she doesn’t yet know if she will play the part as a man or a woman.”
When Swinton was first announced for the part of The Ancient One, traditionally portrayed as male, it was assumed that Marvel was gender-swapping the character, but perhaps those rumors were premature. What The Guardian seems to be suggesting is that Marvel and Derrickson are giving Swinton complete freedom with how she plays the character, which is certainly an exciting prospect. And given that the actress has played male characters before, notably in Constantine, it wouldn’t be completely out of left field to hear about her taking a similar route for Doctor Strange. Regardless of how The Ancient One is depicted in the film, watching Swinton put her distinctive spin on the figure is bound to be interesting.
Doctor Strange also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, presumed to be a main villain. It opens November 4, 2016.