Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige Admits That Casting Tilda Swinton As The Ancient One In Doctor Strange Was A Mistake

Marvel thought they were being "smart" and "cutting edge" when they cast the Oscar-winning actress as the Ancient One.

Kevin Feige thinks it was a "mistake" to cast Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange.

The 60-year-old actress portrayed The Ancient One in the 2016 blockbuster but now the Marvel Studios president has admitted that they shouldn't have cast the Oscar winner in the role which was originally Asian in the comics. 

Speaking to Men's Health for a cover story on the upcoming Asian-led Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Feige, 47, said: "We thought we were being so smart and so cutting-edge.

"We’re not going to do the cliché of the wizened, old, wise Asian man. But it was a wake-up call to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, is there any other way to figure it out? Is there any other way to both not fall into the cliché and cast an Asian actor?’ And the answer to that, of course, is yes.”

simu liu mens health cover june 2021 data
Big guns: Simu Liu, the star of Marvel's upcoming 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'. 

Responding to the criticisms then, the company, in a statement, said: “Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] to life.

“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.

"We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.”

Swinton had previously defended her own casting as well. Speaking to IndieWire, she said, "[Director] Scott [Derrickson] will tell you that he made this very clear decision with Kevin Feige and the whole team to change The Ancient One from the rather, what they considered offensive racial stereotype in the comic books. This kind of Fu Manchu, ancient man sitting on top of a mountain called The Ancient One. They made this decision to not perpetuate those racial stereotypes."

Swinton's The Ancient One was killed in Doctor Strange but resurfaced in 2019's Avengers: Endgame.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first Marvel film to feature a predominantly Asian cast, with Simu Liu as the lead. The film hits cinemas Sept 3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is slated to open on Mar 24, 2022. — BANG SHOWBIZ

Photos: TPG News/Click Photos


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