As Rocket Racoon might say: ohhhh yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh.
With Captain America: Civil War underway (that cast) next on Marvel’s docket is Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange, maybe the film I’m interested in most simply due to how weird and supernatural based the character is, and Derrickson’s horror sensibilities, of course. At the moment, the only thing we really know about Doctor Strange is that it’s going to introduce things like magic to the MCU and it’s going to star Benedict Cumberbatch – who, though maybe not the most interesting choice (I wanted Pedro Pascal), is still a great performer who I’m sure will find fascinating facets of the character to indulge in.
Today though, THR nearly gave me a heart attack with news that Tilda Swinton is in talks to join the film as a character known as the the ‘Ancient One’, a Tibetan mystic that trains sorcerers to be the next Sorcerer Supreme. Dear god. Swinton is a phenomenal actress, like truly phenomenal. In 2014 alone she delivered some of the weirdest and finest performances of the year: Snowpiercer, Only Lovers Left Alive, Grand Budapest Hotel, so to have her in a film that appeals to me on weird-factor alone goes a long way in getting me on board.
Also with some quick research on the ‘Ancient One’ it appears the character in the comics is a male, so seeing Marvel willing to change the gender of the character to get a strong performer like Swinton makes me really, really happy. Like goddamn. Granted, the ‘Ancient One’ is also a minority character that Marvel would be whitewashing if they cast Swinton. My love for her as a performer wants me to think that Marvel’s intentions are in the right place here, but whitewashing the few racially/culturally intrinsic characters Marvel has – again, Tibetan mystic in this case – is not cool. I’m conflicted. What do you guys make of this?