‘Doctor Strange’ Casting Of Tilda Swinton As ‘The Ancient One’ Was A Mistake, Says Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige

The controversial casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in 2016’s Doctor Strange was a mistake, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has admitted.

Speaking to Men’s Health for a cover story on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu, Feige said the uproar over casting Swinton as the Tibetan magic arts guru was  “a wake up call.”

“We thought we were being so smart and so cutting-edge,” Feige said. “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.”

“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,” a statement issued at the time said. “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.”

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


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