ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. More ramblings on Twitter @ExtraTremeerial
Eleanor Tremeer

Doctor Strange is one of Marvel's most anticipated upcoming movies, and it's easy to see why. The good Doctor is one of Marvel Comics' most powerful characters, and in the Avengers' inevitable fight against Thanos, Doctor Strange is a powerful addition to the team. Recently Kevin Feige confirmed that yes, we will be seeing the epic origin story, and the star studded cast is also helping the film gain interest.

Rising star Benedict Cumberbatch will no doubt please fans as Doctor Strange himself, while Tilda Swinton has been cast in the explosive role of the Ancient One. The ethereal actress will no doubt put her own distinctive spin on the character, and she's already teasing some mind-bending twists...

Role Breaking

Tilda Swinton is one of Hollywood's most interesting actors, challenging expectations and taking roles that range from the bizarre to the truly surreal. She's unbelievably talented, and something of a chameleon, managing to escape into every role she plays.

Tilda Swinton: unrecognisable in different roles
Tilda Swinton: unrecognisable in different roles

Swinton's tendency to challenge gender norms has also lead many people to wonder whether she'll be playing the Ancient One, traditionally male, as a man or a woman. And it seems that Swinton herself isn't sure either!

"I have yet to decide exactly where I’m going to place the gender of this character. It’s not that I know and I’m not telling you — I have yet to decide that. Let’s see what the tenor and what the feeling is. If it’s kind of naturalistic, then who knows. If we decide we’re dealing with a male Ancient One, then we’re going to have to deal with a naturalistic disguise. If we’re not and we decide the Ancient One is not gender specific, then we can play a different game."

With Tilda Swinton in the role, the possibilities really are endless. We could get a feminine Ancient One who defies the comic tradition, or Swinton could lend her androgyny to a more masculine version of the character. Personally, I'm hoping for the Ancient One to totally defy gender restrictions, leaving Doctor Strange (and the audience) baffled and off-guard.

Making Waves In The MCU

Tilda Swinton is hardly the actor you'd expect to join a major mainstream franchise like the MCU: she has a history of choosing artistic, odd, and independent films. Though of course, she was fantastic as the White Witch in the Chronicles Of Narnia...

Tilda Swinton as the White Witch
Tilda Swinton as the White Witch

Unfortunately, after 3 films that franchise proved to be a bit short lived. With Marvel notorious for getting their stars to sign multi-picture deals, it's entirely possible that we'll see much more from Tilda Swinton's Ancient One. Could her entrance into the MCU shake things up a bit? Whatever the outcome, Swinton is enthusiastic.

"I’m a Marvel fan and I think this particular world that Doctor Strange goes into is really, really, really exciting. I’m really interested as both an actor and a fan to see what’s done in this particular world. It’s all about creativity. It’s not about everything exploding at the end. It’s about something very different. The idea of playing The Ancient One is really just too tickling. I can’t say no to that!"

Marvel now has an impressive host of talented actors attached to their pictures, and it's fantastic to see Tilda Swinton join the superhero ranks. We can't wait to see how she excels in the role of the Ancient One!

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