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Tilda Swinton in talks to play The Ancient One in Doctor Strange

05.27.2015

The latest addition to the cast of Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE may be one of the more unique choices for the comic book behemoth. Acclaimed actress Tilda Swinton is in negotiations to portray the mentor to Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange. The character has traditionally been male in all versions of the comic book, but the switch would be made specifically to get Swinton on board for Scott Derrickson's film.

Swinton is no stranger to playing androgynous comic book characters having played Gabriel in CONSTANTINE. She has appeared in the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA franchise as The White Witch and won an Oscar for 2007's MICHAEL CLAYTON. Swinton has recently appeared in Wes Anderson's THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and the scifi epic SNOWPIERCER. She will next be seen in Judd Apatow's TRAINWRECK.

In the comics, The Ancient One is the one who teaches Strange to become the Sorceror Supreme, taking him as an apprentice. In later comics, The Ancient One has served as a foe to Strange as well. Which version of the character will appear in the film is unknown, but Swinton is an inspired choice to play off of Cumberbatch.

Not much is known about DOCTOR STRANGE at this point, but I would expect the film to reveal more castmembers over the coming months as production amps up to start in November. So far, this origin tale is playing it's card close so as not to reveal too much, but here's hoping they keep going with the great casting decisions.

DOCTOR STRANGE opens on November 4, 2016.

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1:15AM on 05/29/2015
She looked at her recent costars Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston and thought "I'd like some of that Marvel gravy for a change." Good for her although I prefer an asian actor for this part on principle.
She looked at her recent costars Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston and thought "I'd like some of that Marvel gravy for a change." Good for her although I prefer an asian actor for this part on principle.
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10:26AM on 05/28/2015

This isn't a white man part being recast here

This is an old Asian man part, an old Asian men are not that well represented in Hollywood either. This is still whitewashing, even if you cast a woman.
This is an old Asian man part, an old Asian men are not that well represented in Hollywood either. This is still whitewashing, even if you cast a woman.
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-2
11:02PM on 05/27/2015

See Trank, this is how it's done.....

You can take an iconic comic book character and change them for a movie, you just have to give a good reason for doing so. Swinton is a great actress, and would do an amazing job as a benevolent mentor or a threatening villain. It would have been nice to go Asian for the role, since that would be good to see in Marvel's pasty universe, but at least they're trying something outside the box.
You can take an iconic comic book character and change them for a movie, you just have to give a good reason for doing so. Swinton is a great actress, and would do an amazing job as a benevolent mentor or a threatening villain. It would have been nice to go Asian for the role, since that would be good to see in Marvel's pasty universe, but at least they're trying something outside the box.
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1:20AM on 05/28/2015
racist. i'm calling it. yup. what "good reason" was given here? there is literally no quote from the director or studio regarding the casting. is the reason tilda swinton is a good actress? so is michael b jordan. and idris elba. but when they were cast as white characters, it was an atrocity. when a white actor plays a minority character, it's a "good reason"?
racist. i'm calling it. yup. what "good reason" was given here? there is literally no quote from the director or studio regarding the casting. is the reason tilda swinton is a good actress? so is michael b jordan. and idris elba. but when they were cast as white characters, it was an atrocity. when a white actor plays a minority character, it's a "good reason"?
7:34AM on 05/28/2015
While I think calling you a racist is way off the mark...and whilst I have no problem with this possible change to the character...I'm not quite sure how this is any different to what Trank did with Johnny Storm in the F4 movie. There's no reason given as to why this change was required. My problem with Trank's change was that he didn't change Sue and whilst mix families do exist, was adding such a dynamic to the mix going to bring anything that was needed to a F4 movie? No, I don't think
While I think calling you a racist is way off the mark...and whilst I have no problem with this possible change to the character...I'm not quite sure how this is any different to what Trank did with Johnny Storm in the F4 movie. There's no reason given as to why this change was required. My problem with Trank's change was that he didn't change Sue and whilst mix families do exist, was adding such a dynamic to the mix going to bring anything that was needed to a F4 movie? No, I don't think so...it just seems that Trank just really wanted to have Jordan in this movie. Personally, I'd have preferred an Asian for the role of the Ancient One - man or woman, not bothered - I mean how awesome was Madame Gao in the Daredevil series!
-1
10:25PM on 05/27/2015

Nice

I don't know anything about The Ancient One, but I love Swinton. She was prime evil in MICHAEL CLAYTON and will kick ass per usual in this role.
The only weak thing about this project is THE DIRECTOR! Otherwise I'd be super stoked for this movie...
I don't know anything about The Ancient One, but I love Swinton. She was prime evil in MICHAEL CLAYTON and will kick ass per usual in this role.
The only weak thing about this project is THE DIRECTOR! Otherwise I'd be super stoked for this movie...
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10:20PM on 05/27/2015
I'm a purist so I fucking hate it. I detest forced diversity by way of gender/race swapping just to pander to the diversity buzzword. Stay on fucking target, stay with what actually made the stories that people loved. I am usually behind Marvel on their decisions for casting, as much as I like Swinton all I can say is fuck this.
I'm a purist so I fucking hate it. I detest forced diversity by way of gender/race swapping just to pander to the diversity buzzword. Stay on fucking target, stay with what actually made the stories that people loved. I am usually behind Marvel on their decisions for casting, as much as I like Swinton all I can say is fuck this.
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10:58PM on 05/27/2015
Not sure if you are joking or not but I don't like it. Hahaha

I see people here giving this a pass and start by saying "I don't know the ancient one so therefore it's ok" that pisses me off actually. Ok so I think joker should be a girl. I don't know that character so my opinion on it means something.

If you don't know the character than your opinion on who should play him isn't valid.
Not sure if you are joking or not but I don't like it. Hahaha

I see people here giving this a pass and start by saying "I don't know the ancient one so therefore it's ok" that pisses me off actually. Ok so I think joker should be a girl. I don't know that character so my opinion on it means something.

If you don't know the character than your opinion on who should play him isn't valid.
1:58AM on 05/28/2015
I like this actress, but I hate this decision for the role. It should be an old and preferably Asian man. I hate this fucking idea of her being cast in this.
I like this actress, but I hate this decision for the role. It should be an old and preferably Asian man. I hate this fucking idea of her being cast in this.
8:20PM on 05/27/2015
This is actually pretty ballsy of Marvel to do. Even though I would rather have a male play the Ancient One, Swinton is a great inspiring choice to play the part (despite the gender change).

Out of all of the new comic book heroes and films entering the MCU within the next couple of years, I'm looking forward to Doctor Strange the most and the supernatural element he brings to the established storyline.
This is actually pretty ballsy of Marvel to do. Even though I would rather have a male play the Ancient One, Swinton is a great inspiring choice to play the part (despite the gender change).

Out of all of the new comic book heroes and films entering the MCU within the next couple of years, I'm looking forward to Doctor Strange the most and the supernatural element he brings to the established storyline.
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11:25PM on 05/28/2015
Gender and race. please explain why its balls and a inspired choice? and whats the difference between this change and the Human Torch change?
Gender and race. please explain why its balls and a inspired choice? and whats the difference between this change and the Human Torch change?
8:07PM on 05/27/2015

I am so down with this.

Let's keep in mind that Tilda Swinton's played several male parts: ORLANDO, CONSTANTINE, SNOWPIERCER (yes, her character in that is technically a dude, look it up). So if anyone can pull off a gender switch without it looking "politically correct", it's her.

I also am excited because Tilda Swinton was my big movie star crush after I saw her in CONSTANTINE at the age of 13. I would watch anything and everything with her in it, and one time, my brother and I were discussing who would be good
Let's keep in mind that Tilda Swinton's played several male parts: ORLANDO, CONSTANTINE, SNOWPIERCER (yes, her character in that is technically a dude, look it up). So if anyone can pull off a gender switch without it looking "politically correct", it's her.

I also am excited because Tilda Swinton was my big movie star crush after I saw her in CONSTANTINE at the age of 13. I would watch anything and everything with her in it, and one time, my brother and I were discussing who would be good as Ava Lord in the SIN CITY sequel (which wouldn't come out for another 9 years). My suggestion was Tilda Swinton, and from thereon in, my brother would mock me mercilessly about how much in love I was with Tilda Swinton. TLDR: my childhood was an unhappy one.
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7:08PM on 05/27/2015
Take a page from the Kirk Lazarus playbook. She should get the part, but still play it as a male and look like the comics. Just because.
Take a page from the Kirk Lazarus playbook. She should get the part, but still play it as a male and look like the comics. Just because.
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+2
7:03PM on 05/27/2015
I guess the ancient one isn't a known character cause when other characters are changed either race or gender everyone shits their pants in rage.

If race isn't a factor for a character like nick fury, jimmy Olsen, Ben Urich etc I don't much care. But a gender change isn't really justified in my opinion. I like her as an actress though.
I guess the ancient one isn't a known character cause when other characters are changed either race or gender everyone shits their pants in rage.

If race isn't a factor for a character like nick fury, jimmy Olsen, Ben Urich etc I don't much care. But a gender change isn't really justified in my opinion. I like her as an actress though.
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6:09PM on 05/27/2015
Well at least the character isn't being played by a black guy.... JK JK JK!
Well at least the character isn't being played by a black guy.... JK JK JK!
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5:59PM on 05/27/2015
I hope she grows the beard anyway..
I hope she grows the beard anyway..
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5:55PM on 05/27/2015
This movie fucked itself the moment Cumbernaut signed on the dotted line.
This movie fucked itself the moment Cumbernaut signed on the dotted line.
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5:19PM on 05/27/2015
Did the Ancient One cut his dick off?
Did the Ancient One cut his dick off?
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5:27PM on 05/27/2015
yeah some religious fanatics chopped it off.
yeah some religious fanatics chopped it off.
5:02PM on 05/27/2015
I can't stand when studios stray from the original material like this. While they're at it, make the Hulk pink and the new spiderman a small Asian woman. STICK TO THE ORIGINAL MATERIAL! It's worked for this long in the comics, why not stay consistent in the movies. JMO.
I can't stand when studios stray from the original material like this. While they're at it, make the Hulk pink and the new spiderman a small Asian woman. STICK TO THE ORIGINAL MATERIAL! It's worked for this long in the comics, why not stay consistent in the movies. JMO.
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10:28PM on 05/27/2015
A small Asian woman in tight spandex? That's my fetish!
A small Asian woman in tight spandex? That's my fetish!
4:54PM on 05/27/2015
I'd prefer an elderly Asian man instead of an English white woman.
I'd prefer an elderly Asian man instead of an English white woman.
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4:33PM on 05/27/2015

Great casting

I like the idea of Swinton playing the Ancient One. I do find it funny that most everyone is liking the idea tho. Especially after all the whining that happened after they turned Johnny Storm black. Double standard maybe?
I like the idea of Swinton playing the Ancient One. I do find it funny that most everyone is liking the idea tho. Especially after all the whining that happened after they turned Johnny Storm black. Double standard maybe?
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4:25PM on 05/27/2015
If anyone can be an even bigger presence than Cumberbatch, and even more otherworldly, Swinton can do it.
If anyone can be an even bigger presence than Cumberbatch, and even more otherworldly, Swinton can do it.
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4:13PM on 05/27/2015
Dang, I preferred the Bill Nighy rumors back a while ago. He already played an ancient vampire and seaman and his voice is so cool. But I don't mind the gender swap here if they go the foe route because just looking at Swinton scares the hell out of me and she is a damn good actress.
Dang, I preferred the Bill Nighy rumors back a while ago. He already played an ancient vampire and seaman and his voice is so cool. But I don't mind the gender swap here if they go the foe route because just looking at Swinton scares the hell out of me and she is a damn good actress.
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4:11PM on 05/27/2015

Awesome!

Hell, I would let them change Peter Parker into a girl if it meant Tilda Swinton was cast in the role.
Hell, I would let them change Peter Parker into a girl if it meant Tilda Swinton was cast in the role.
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4:04PM on 05/27/2015
Maybe it's finally the chance to show how it doesn't matter what gender you are to play a major role in a movie. If anyone can prove it, Tilda Swinton can, she can pull off or disappear into a role like no other actor can. You probably wouldn't even realize a woman was playing the part. I think this can be a very good thing.
Maybe it's finally the chance to show how it doesn't matter what gender you are to play a major role in a movie. If anyone can prove it, Tilda Swinton can, she can pull off or disappear into a role like no other actor can. You probably wouldn't even realize a woman was playing the part. I think this can be a very good thing.
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3:39PM on 05/27/2015

It took this long?

It amazes me Marvel has gotten her on board awhile ago, but it's good to see she's getting involved. I could easily see this going one of two ways: we either get the Ras Al Ghul in Batman Begins kind of deal with Swinton eventually betraying Strange or we get the Kill Bill Vol. 2 with Swinton training both Strange and Mordo only to have the latter kill her creating the conflict between the two.
It amazes me Marvel has gotten her on board awhile ago, but it's good to see she's getting involved. I could easily see this going one of two ways: we either get the Ras Al Ghul in Batman Begins kind of deal with Swinton eventually betraying Strange or we get the Kill Bill Vol. 2 with Swinton training both Strange and Mordo only to have the latter kill her creating the conflict between the two.
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4:12PM on 05/27/2015
Actually she will just play the role and not be a villain, just a mentor. The movies villains have already been announced.
Actually she will just play the role and not be a villain, just a mentor. The movies villains have already been announced.
3:36PM on 05/27/2015

I don't know much about Dr. Strange

but Tilda Swinton is an inspired choice in any role. Some great casting choices so far.
but Tilda Swinton is an inspired choice in any role. Some great casting choices so far.
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3:24PM on 05/27/2015
I don't know anything about Doctor Strange comics, but adding Tilda Swinton would be great. She's such an underrated actress. I wonder if people will feel differently in this case since some characters have been changed quite a bit from their origin source material in comic book movies.
I don't know anything about Doctor Strange comics, but adding Tilda Swinton would be great. She's such an underrated actress. I wonder if people will feel differently in this case since some characters have been changed quite a bit from their origin source material in comic book movies.
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3:23PM on 05/27/2015

Interesting

Tilda Swinton is a great actress and I have no doubt that she'd do an amazing job.
Tilda Swinton is a great actress and I have no doubt that she'd do an amazing job.
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