Marvel fans were either overjoyed or enraged when Tilda Swinton's casting as The Ancient One was confirmed. Marvel announced that Swinton would be playing the mystical being in Doctor Strange, serving as a mentor for the titular character.
Most of the praise for her casting came from the fact that Tilda Swinton is an award winning actress, with such films as Michael Clayton and The Deep End under her belt. While most of the outrage came from the fact that she was a female playing a male character.
Gender and race bending have been very topical issues in the comic book community; and Tilda's casting as an Asian male character falls under both categories. Personally, I have nothing against her casting, and feel like The Ancient One is an obscure enough character that his race or gender isn't really that important to his character.
But for those who do think that the MCU's version of The Ancient One should be the same gender as his comic counterpart, there's still a chance...oddly enough.
Don't worry (or do, depending on how you feel about it), Tilda Swinton is still locked in for the role, but according to her in an interview with The Guardian, she isn't sure what gender her character will be. Seems like an odd statement, until you consider Swinton's remarkable ability to change her appearance for any role.
Tilda Swinton is the woman of many, MANY faces! She is always sporting a different look every time you see her on the big screen. From her role in Snowpiercer, to her role in Trainwreck, her face-changing ways are giving Johnny Depp a run for his money.
And actually, this wouldn't be the first time Swinton has played a character of the opposite sex. Gabriel, a traitorous angel in the film Constantine, is male, and Swinton's androgynous appearance in the role made it believable. Though I'd be lying if I didn't say I had the weirdest crush on Gabriel when that movie came out.
The Ancient One is a cosmic, mystical being, so technically speaking, he doesn't have to be gender-specific. Swinton could be playing a character who doesn't classify themselves in any gender at all. Or maybe she really might be playing a male character.
Either way, I can't wait to see how Tilda Swinton brings the character to life in next year's Doctor Strange!