Marvel has mastered the art of casting the perfect actors for each of their comic book counterparts. They have rarely failed at finding the actor that perfectly suits the role. In the few instances when they have made questionable decisions, such as with the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, they still found the ideal actor for the part.
Well, it looks as if Marvel is truly showing some gender-blind casting with reports today that acclaimed actress Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer) is in negotiations for a key role in Doctor Strange. This is how THR described the developments.
"Strange’s mentor is a Tibetan mystic known as the Ancient One, who is training pupils to be the next sorcerer supreme. In the comics, the character has been a male, and Marvel Studios initially was searching for a male actor.
But the studio rethought the role and has now made it female. If a deal is made, Swinton will play the Ancient One."
Benedict Cumberbatch has been confirmed as the title character Doctor Strange and for months there have been various rumors of Ken Watanabe, Morgan Freeman and Chiwetel Ejiofor, all circling roles in the upcoming movie that looks to explore the magical side of the Marvel universe. However, it appears that the role has fallen to the British thespian who has the chameleon-like ability to transform into a multitude characters. Playing a male Tibetan monk, who happens to be hundreds of years old seems like a stretch for the actress, but she has surprised us all before.
Clearly director Scott Derrickson and Marvel have a forward-thinking vision for how they will portray Strange's mentor on the big-screen. Regardless, Swinton is one of the special talents that never mails in a performance and rarely makes a bad movie.
Marvel is moving into the third phase of their movies and it is clear that they are making an effort to both diversify their lineups and roster of actors. They will now be mining characters lesser known to the mainstream, so making alterations will not get the same type of scrutiny that changing a more well known character might endure. All in all, adding Swinton will elevate the movie and is yet another reason to look forward to the Master of Mysticism next year.
Doctor Strange will be released on November 4th, 2016.