As the start of production on Marvel's upcoming standalone film Doctor Strange draws closer, the key role has already been cast. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the eponymous Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange, a man with a masterful understanding of magic.
Now another important Doctor Strange role is apparently close to being filled. The Ancient One is a Tibetan mystic whom Doctor Strange approaches after his hands are horribly damaged in a car accident, preventing him from continuing his career as a neurosurgeon. Rather than granting his request, the Ancient One instead teaches Doctor Strange the mystic arts with the goal of training him to become heir to the role of sorcerer supreme.
According to THR, Marvel and Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson were originally looking at male actors for the role of the Ancient One, but now Tilda Swinton is in talks to play the character. Swinton is not Tibetan, a man, nor particularly ancient, but at least one of those differences could be changed using make-up.
Of course, Swinton is no stranger to gender-bending. The actress is known for her unique, androgynous features, and in 1992 she played the lead role in Orlando, an adaptation of Virginia's Woolf's novel about a young nobleman who lives for centuries and changes his/her gender. More recently she starred in Jim Jarmusch's dark supernatural romance Only Lovers Left Alive, as an ancient vampire experiencing the melancholy of modern life within a centuries-old relationship.
Marvel was reportedly casting the net wide when it comes to actors being considered for the role of the Ancient One, with Ken Watanabe, Morgan Freeman and Bill Nighy all named in previous rumors. Swinton has a talent for playing odd and mystical characters, however, so if these negotiations go well Doctor Strange could add a strong new player to its cast.
Like the idea of Tilda Swinton playing mentor to Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange? Let us know what you think of this potential casting choice in the comments.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is in theaters now. Ant-Man will release on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6 2018, Inhumans on November 2 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019.