When it was revealed that Tilda Swinton had been cast as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange, fans were confused. The character – who teaches Stephen Strange how to become the Sorcerer Supreme – has classically been portrayed as an elderly Asian man in the comics, and with reports that the Snowpiercer star might still play him as a man (as she did with an angel in Constantine), speculation about this interpretation has been running rampant.
Well, thanks to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, we now have a much better idea what to expect from her take on this key player in Doctor Strange:
“We are always looking for ways to change. I think if you look at some of the early incarnations of the Ancient One in the comics, they are what we would consider today to be quite, sort of, stereotypical. They don’t hold up to what would work today. Also, within the storyline of the comics, and our movie, ‘the Ancient One’ is a title that many people have had. We hit very early on on, What if the Ancient One was a woman? What if the title had been passed and the current Ancient One is a woman? Oh, that’s an interesting idea. [Clicks fingers.] Tilda Swinton! Whoah! And it just hit.”
He then went on to further explain what makes Swinton the right choice for the role, adding that while The Ancient One will be referred to as “she,” there may still be more to the character than fans are expecting.
“Look, she’s a chameleon in everything she does. She has this amazing [ability to] harness of this androgynous sense. So, we use the term ‘her’ and ‘she’ in the film but, other than that, it’s very androgynous. Because it doesn’t matter.”
Confused? Well, don’t expect Tilda Swinton to help clear things up. The Doctor Strange star’s comments are just as vague (saying, “I wouldn’t know how to answer that one. I think it’s all in the eye of the beholder”), and it’s becoming increasingly clear that this version of the character will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
Of course, the movie itself is possibly going to be the most offbeat and unique superhero movie to date, so perhaps that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.