Casting of Tilda Swinton’s ‘Doctor Strange’ as ‘the Elder’ was a mistake, says Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige
The controversial casting of Tilda Swinton as the Elder in 2016 Doctor Strange was a mistake, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige admitted.
Talk to Men’s health for a cover story on Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings Star Simu Liu Feige said the outcry over labeling Swinton a Tibetan magical arts guru was “a wake-up call.”
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“We thought we were so smart and forward thinking,” Feige said. “We are not going to make the cliché of the aged and wise Asian man. But it was a wake-up call to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, is there another way to figure it out? Is there another way both not to fall for the cliché and to cast an Asian actor? And the answer to that, of course, is yes.
Charges of “laundering” the character saw Marvel at the time claiming that it supported creative freedom, including in the casting.
“Marvel has a very strong track record of diversity in its film cast and regularly deviates from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] to life, ”said a statement released at the time. “The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by a single character, but rather a nickname passed down through time, and in this particular film the incarnation is Celtic.”
The statement added, “We are very proud that the talented Tilda Swinton embodies this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.”
Swinton herself said naming her in the role was an attempt to avoid offensive racial stereotypes. avoiding “that kind of Fu Manchu, ancient man sitting on top of a mountain called the Elder.” They made the decision not to perpetuate these racial stereotypes. “
A sequel to the 2016 film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is currently scheduled for March 25, 2022.
Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Doctor Strange. with Rachel McAdams returning as Dr Christine Palmer, surgeon and Strange lover.
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