Why is The Ancient One a white female instead of an Asian male in the Doctor Strange movie? That's a question asked frequently by the ones who are familiar with the character from the comics. Since the back-to-back release of the Doctor Strange movie's first official trailer, and the first look at Scarlett Johansson as The Major from the Ghost in the Shell movie, we've witnessed a surge of online outrage over Hollywood's tendency to whitewash.
And this has forced Marvel Studios to provide an official statement defending the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One (via The Wrap). At the outset, the studio claims to have "a very strong record of diversity" in its casting. It also reminds us that the studio has, on a regular basis, departed "from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life". We can verify these statements to be true.
And then, the statement addresses the Doctor Strange casting controversy. According to the studio:
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.
The studio adds that it is "very proud" to have the British actress portray the "unique and complex character" of The Ancient One in the movie.
However, co-writer C. Robert Cargill offered an explanation of the casting choice in a recent interview, and it was very different from what Marvel has been saying. His explanation seemed more honest…and more logical.
Doctor Strange Movie - Another Moment During Marvel's Evolution!
The latest issue of Empire features brief interviews with the movie's lead actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and director Scott Derrickson. Here's what Cumberbatch says about his character and the movie:
It's a very different feel, different hero, and different set of circumstances to what we've seen before. It's another moment during Marvel's evolution.
According to the director, they "felt free to go" as far as they could imagine with the Doctor Strange movie. He also suggests that they are "doing a lot of things" that he hasn't done before. Once they had crossed certain line, they "just kept going".
Share your thoughts on all these tidbits from the Doctor Strange movie, and stay tuned for the latest updates!