Kevin Feige On Casting Tilda Swinton For ‘Doctor Strange’

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The casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in the upcoming Doctor Strange has been a point of controversy for some fans. Many believe that the casting of a white woman in this role robs an opportunity from Asian actors to potentially portray in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige was asked about this controversy in an interview with Deadline. Feige responded to the criticisms.

“We make all of our decisions on all of our films, and certainly on Doctor Strange, for creative reasons and not political reasons. That’s just always been the case. I’ve always believed that it is the films themselves that will cross all borders and really get people to identify with these heroes, and that always comes down to creative and not political reasons. The casting of The Ancient One was a major topic of conversation in the development and the creative process of the story. We didn’t want to play into any of the stereotypes found in the comic books, some of which go back as far as 50 years or more. We felt the idea of gender swapping the role of The Ancient One was exciting. It opened up possibilities, it was a fresh way into this old and very typical story line. Why not make the wisest bestower of knowledge in the universe to our heroes in the particular film a woman instead of a man? We made changes to some of the other key character in the comic for similar reasons.”

Doctor Strange scribe C. Robert Cargill recently described the casting process of the Ancient One to be a lose/lose situation in an interview with the website Double Toasted.

Directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton, Doctor Strange opens in theaters November 4.

Source: Deadline

Noah Villaverde

Noah Villaverde

Cinema lover. Saxophone player. Coffee consumer. Chronic complainer. Oh, I also write. #TeamHeroic

  • Robert Mexico

    If really Kevin Feige that said this….then I am disappointed. Marvel have been accused of playing safe with their movies and not being bold enough with them. If this is his best excuse, then it is utter bulls***t.

    • Mike

      “We’ve always said… any adaptation you
      make from the source material should be done only to ENHANCE whatever
      the original pure SPIRIT of the source material was.” – K Feige

      They simply felt, were he alive TODAY, Ditko would have thought it more important to advance roles for lesbians in film over accuracy.

      • Janellrpatton2

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    • Triple M

      So… you complain that the play if safe… and complain that he says they’re happy to take risks. And you’re disappointed?

  • SAMURAI36

    So, the wisest person in the universe can be a woman, but not a person of color? Got it.

    • Triple M

      No that’s not what he said… but nice way to twist the whole thing around

      • SAMURAI36

        Uhmm, yeah, that’s exactly what he said. He side-stepped the race issue, and tried to just deal with the gender issue.

        But good luck trying to justify the duplicity of your lord and savior, zombie.

        • Triple M

          Oh really..” Lord and Saviour ” … getting a little desperate are we?

          Both are issues by the way… picking out one over the other is just as biased.
          Since you’re so big on justifying things.

          Funny though… where were you when the Mandarin was cast?
          Didn’t hear your outrage then…
          Maybe it’s because he wasn’t a woman?
          Or maybe it because you don’t really know what you’re talking about, and you’re jumping on a bandwagon?

          • SAMURAI36

            Both are issues by the way… picking out one over the other is just as biased.
            Since you’re so big on justifying things.

            I never said both weren’t, Zombie. But Feige just tried to perform the 3-card Molly with both, & present it as if changing an Asian Man into a white woman for no real reason as a good thing, & you’re trying to sit here & justify it.
            Something tells me that if this were any other company, you’d have a lot more to say about it.

            Funny though… where were you when the Mandarin was cast?
            Didn’t hear your outrage then…
            Maybe it’s because he wasn’t a woman?

            1) I did talk about it. I talked about it back when they made the “10 Rings” into an Islamic terrorist group. And that whole Mandarin thing was one big cluster, that they tried their hardest to clean up later on, but it didn’t take.
            2) When IM3 came out, this site didn’t even exist, genius. So you wouldn’t have known if I complained about or not back then. But I have definitely brought it up since I’ve been on here.

            Or maybe it because you don’t really know what you’re talking about, and you’re jumping on a bandwagon?

            That’s funny, coming from the guy that’s the blind Marvel cult worshipper, who can’t see their flaws when they’re right in his face.
            Good luck with that, Zombie.

          • Triple M

            You love your ” Marvel Zombie ” nonsense, don’t you? Doesn’t make you look any smarter… but clearly gets you off.

            Bottom line is, you weren’t complaing in the slightest about the character now being a woman… somehow that wasn’t important to you. Feige is subtlety pointing that out without being rude about it. You completely miss that point and have a tantrum.

            As for the Mandarin, the point is to with casting of a white guy. Which was done in order to avoid a stereotype.. and no one had a problem. Now suddenly a single minor character isn’t asian ( and not even a man.. but like we’ve pointed out… you don’t care ) and that represents a terrible sleight on the entire asian acting community. Really?

            Wait until the outrage over Wong being an asian actor.

          • SAMURAI36

            Listen Zombie, I know you think you’re “busting me out” or something, but you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, especially as it pertains to me.

            While you’re sitting around trying to play the part of Marvel’s defense attorney, perhaps you should brush up on your facts.

            1) I’ve been roasting Marvel & calling them out on their BS, long before there was ever a such thing as “Cinematic Universe”.

            2) This isn’t even the first article on this subject on this very website. There are at least 2 others on the same subject, to which I (& others) have commented at length about it. Perhaps you should take your Johnny-Come-Lately &$$ somewhere & read before you comment.

            3) I’ve already stated that I have an issue with the gender AND race swapping. The character could been an Asian woman, & the result would be the same. I dunno what part about that you’re not getting.

            4) The issue about the Mandarin has been discussed ad nauseam, & I call BS on your excuse for it as well. They could care less about avoiding stereotypes, when they made the 10 Rings into an Islamic terrorist group.

            5) What about Wong? You didn’t even establish a complete thought with that.

          • Triple M

            “ Listen Zombie “

            – There you go again.. Hmmm methinks you protest too much. Let’s see.

            “ I know you think you’re “busting me out” or something “

            – By pointing out that you have a weird fixation with calling people names when they point out the flaws in your posts?

            “ 1) I’ve been roasting Marvel & calling them out on their BS, long before there was ever a such thing as “Cinematic Universe”. ”

            – Don’t care, and that only points out that you go out of your way to hate everything Marvel. Thanks for the insight.

            “ 2) This isn’t even the first article on this subject on this very website. There are at least 2 others on the same subject, to which I (& others) have commented at length about it. Perhaps you should take your Johnny-Come-Lately &$$ somewhere & read before you comment.”

            – Why? I can see what you’re written here. Excuse me if I don’t go to your back catalogue of pointless whinging.

            “ 3) I’ve already stated that I have an issue with the gender AND race swapping. The character could been an Asian woman, & the result would be the same. I dunno what part about that you’re not getting ”

            – Well that’s even more ridiculous. So now you’re saying it could’ve been an asian woman! And if “ the result would be the same “ then you’re no longer arguing about opportunities for asian actors, you’re just arguing for the sake of complying abut Marvel. I see… picture is becoming much clearer now.

            “ 4) The issue about the Mandarin has been discussed ad nauseam, & I call BS on your excuse for it as well. They could care less about avoiding stereotypes, when they made the 10 Rings into an Islamic terrorist group. ”

            – No… the 10 Rings isn’t a character, it’s a group.

            “ 5) What about Wong? You didn’t even establish a complete thought with that.”

            – Wong’s and asian, played by an asian. But we’ve already established that you don’t care about that, you’re just whining about Marvel. I wonder what agenda you actually have. Curiousier and curiouser.

          • SAMURAI36

            – There you go again.. Hmmm methinks you protest too much. Let’s see.

            – By pointing out that you have a weird fixation with calling people names when they point out the flaws in your posts?

            LOL, oh is that what you call yourself doing? Cuz I don’t see you doing that for all the erroneous stuff that gets said about DC on here. But that’s because, you know….. You’re a Marvel Zombie.

            So now that that’s been established, let’s move on, Zombie.

            – Don’t care, and that only points out that you go out of your way to hate everything Marvel. Thanks for the insight.

            Yeah, I hate Marvel, so what? I’ve never tried to hide that fact, just like you’re doing very little to bide the fact that you’re a Zombie. In fact, I’ve made that thought quite clear & known, since this site first started. Again, perhaps if you weren’t such a Johnny-Come-Lately, you’d have gotten the memo about that already, instead of stating the obvious.

            Let’s move on, Zombie.

            – Why? I can see what you’re written here. Excuse me if I don’t go to your back catalogue of pointless whinging.

            Then why are you acting all Christopher Columbus-like, as if you’re the first to discover something that’s already well-known?

            – Well that’s even more ridiculous. So now you’re saying it could’ve been an asian woman! And if “ the result would be the same “ then you’re no longer arguing about opportunities for asian actors, you’re just arguing for the sake of complying abut Marvel. I see… picture is becoming much clearer now

            Yeah, imagine me “complying” with anything related to Marvel. But this just says you’re looking to square off with anyone that besmirched your precious cult. Look, I admire that–I really do, as I’m adamant about the other team. But the least you could do, is come up with better talking points, & counterarguments. Right now, you’re the dog chasing his tail in the yard, while I’m the cat perched in the tree, watching you while shaking his head.

            – No… the 10 Rings isn’t a character, it’s a group.

            Now I can’t tell if you’re being deliberately obtuse, or if you’re really just that dumb.
            I know what the 10 Rings are. Both in the comics, as well as what Marvel changed them into, in the movie. I never said anything about them being “a character” in my original statement. Looks like someone needs to familiarize themselves more with the product they are blindly defending.
            Get it together, Zombie. One day you’ll be worthy of stepping in the yard with the big dogs.

          • Triple M

            “ LOL, oh is that what you call yourself doing? Cuz I don’t see you doing that for all the erroneous stuff that gets said about DC on here. But that’s because, you know….. You’re a Marvel Zombie. ”

            – Sure… show me the DC casting thread? …. Waiting.

            “ So now that that’s been established, let’s move on, Zombie. ”

            – We’ve established that you just love having tantrums against Marvel.. it’s getting more and more interesting

            “ Yeah, I hate Marvel, so what? “

            – SO everything. I noticed that your argument made now sense. Now I see why. You just love hating on Marvel.. no doubt we’ll find out why eventually. And you accuse anyone who points out your mistakes of being a “ Zombie “ when you clearly admit to being the most biased one-sided poster imaginable. You try to reflect that onto other people.

            “ Then why are you acting all Christopher Columbus-like, as if you’re the first to discover something that’s already well-known? ”

            – It’s not like it’s broadcast ‘ this guy has no real point and is trolling to hate Marvel..’ I get it now, but forgive me for giving you the benefit of the doubt.

            ” But the least you could do, is come up with better talking points, & counterarguments ”

            – As opposed to “ I hate Marvel, I hate Marvel, I hate Marvel “ .. do you do it while stamping your feet, or does your bottom lip just tremble a bit?

            ” Now I can’t tell if you’re being deliberately obtuse, or if you’re really just that dumb.”

            – You can’t tell much really.

            “ I know what the 10 Rings are. Both in the comics, as well as what Marvel changed them into, in the movie. I never said anything about them being “a character” in my original statement “

            – No you didn’t, but you compared them directly to the changing of a character. So do you have an actual point? Go on.

            “ Looks like someone needs to familiarize themselves more with the product they are blindly defending. ”

            – No.. you don’t have a point… didn’t think so.

            “ Get it together, Zombie. One day you’ll be worthy of stepping in the yard with the big dogs. ”

            – Did someone from Marvel touch you as a child or something?

          • SAMURAI36

            – Sure… show me the DC casting thread? …. Waiting.

            For what? Why are you trying to narrow the parameters? It’s not about “casting”, unless you’re saying that’s the only subject you show up in? We both know that’s not true.

            – SO everything. I noticed that your argument made now sense. Now I see why. You just love hating on Marvel.. no doubt we’ll find out why eventually. And you accuse anyone who points out your mistakes of being a “ Zombie “ when you clearly admit to being the most biased one-sided poster imaginable. You try to reflect that onto other people.

            Once again…. SO WHAT? I hate Marvel, and you’re a Zombie. This has already been established. At this point, this is a boring circle-jerk. Make it interesting, or I’m gonna stop responding to your nonsense, Zombie.

            – As opposed to “ I hate Marvel, I hate Marvel, I hate Marvel “ .. do you do it while stamping your feet, or does your bottom lip just tremble a bit?

            Yep, that’s precisely what I do. So once again, NOW WHAT?

            – No you didn’t, but you compared them directly to the changing of a character. So do you have an actual point? Go on.

            I did no such thing, and you can’t quote a single time where I did. Again, you’re either playing dumb, or you are dumb. Which one?

            – Did someone from Marvel touch you as a child or something?

            Stop projecting, Zombie. And on that note, you’re not put on the “ignore” list.

            Buh-Bye now, Zombie!!

  • Fidel A. Finem

    So… accused of whitewashing the character, Feige resorts to virtue signaling: “Hey, forget about that race stuff, did you see that we cast a woman?!!!” Why not just say they really liked Tilda Swinton, wanted to work with her, and thought she’d do a great job in the movie? His approach somewhat diminishes Tilda by making her gender such an important part of her casting (as distinguished from, say, her presence and acting ability). And it makes Marvel look even guiltier on the race thing by sidestepping the issue in such an obvious way.

    • Triple M

      Nope… that’s not at all what he said.
      He didn’t diminish Tilda in any way.

  • Case

    Wouldn’t casting an Asian person be racist too

    Not all Asians know Kung fu

    • SAMURAI36

      Casting an Asian person, living in Asia, living an Asian lifestyle, etc, would in fact NOT be racist.