DOCTOR STRANGE Writer Addresses Casting Controversy

DOCTOR STRANGE Writer Addresses Casting Controversy

In a recent interview, Doctor Strange writer C. Robert Cargill addressed the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, and it turns out the reason is far more political than we thought! Read on for more!

Hollywood "whitewashing" has become a rather hot-button issue as of late, with films like Gods of Egypt and the upcoming Ghost in the Shell receiving widespread criticism for casting white actors to play people of colour. Upcoming Marvel film Doctor Strange has also received some of this criticism for casting the Scottish Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, who in the comics is Tibetan. During a recent interview on the Double Toasted podcast, Strange screenwriter C. Robert Cargill said the decision to cast Swinton as the mentor of Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) was carefully planned in order to avoid political clashes with China.

"The Ancient One was a racist stereotype who comes from a region of the world that is in a very weird political place," he said. "He originates from Tibet, so if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he's Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that's bulls**t and risk the Chinese government going, 'Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We're not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.' If we decide to go the other way and cater to China in particular and have him be in Tibet... if you think it's a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your damn fool mind and have no idea what the f**k you're talking about."

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has stated in previous interviews that this iteration of the Ancient One acts as more of a title than being a specific person. "The sorcerers have been around for millennia, protecting us from things we didn’t know about until this story. There have been multiple [Ancient Ones], even if this one has been around for five hundred years, there were others. This is a mantle, and therefore felt we had leeway to cast in interesting ways." Be sure to watch the full podcast below! Do you think Marvel should have stuck to the source material, or do you approve of Swinton's casting? Sound off below!


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