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The Ancient One's gender is in the eye of the beholder says Tilda Swinton

12.31.2015

Tilda Swinton is no stranger to playing androgynous roles, but her upcoming role as The Ancient One in DOCTOR STRANGE may give them all a run for their money. The character of The Ancient One has traditionally been depicted as that of an older Asian male, so the casting of Tilda Swinton in the role is definitely a switch. During a recent conversation with Entertainment Weekly, the actress was asked straight up whether she was playing The Ancient One as a man or a woman.

I wouldn’t know how to answer that one. I think it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige elaborated:

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.

As a big Swinton fan, I can't wait to see what she'll do with the role in DOCTOR STRANGE, and Kevin Feige also seems excited by what switching around the character will bring to the film.

We’re never afraid to change, in the comic books, Jarvis is an elderly butler. In the movies, he’s an A.I. system which becomes Paul Bettany’s Vision. 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.

DOCTOR STRANGE is set for a November 4, 2016 release.

Extra Tidbit: This will be my final post of 2015, so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year! Stay safe, have fun, and watch a movie...or three.
Source: EW

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