Washington [US]: Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige during a recent interview admitted that the controversial casting of actor Tilda Swinton as 'The Ancient One' in 2016's 'Doctor Strange' was a mistake.
According to Deadline, the 47-year-old film producer spoke to 'Men's Health' for a cover story on 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'. He also talked about the casting of star Simu Liu in the movie and said the uproar over casting Swinton as the Tibetan magic arts guru was "a wake up call."
"We thought we were being so smart and so cutting-edge. We're not going to do the cliche of the wizened, old, wise Asian man. But it was a wake-up call to say, 'Well, wait a minute, is there any other way to figure it out? Is there any other way to both not fall into the cliche and cast an Asian actor?' And the answer to that, of course, is yes," Feige said.
Deadline reported, at the time accusations of "whitewashing" the character saw Marvel claim it supported creative freedom, including in casting.
"Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] to life," "The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by anyone character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic," a statement issued at the time said.
The statement added, "We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast."
Deadline reported that the 'Suspiria' actor herself said that casting her in the role was an attempt to avoid offensive racial stereotyping, avoiding "this kind of Fu Manchu, an ancient man sitting on top of a mountain called The Ancient One. They made this decision to not perpetuate those racial stereotypes." Meanwhile, a sequel to the 2016 film, 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness', is currently scheduled for March 25, 2022.
The movie will see Benedict Cumberbatch return as 'Doctor Strange', Rachel McAdams will be back as Dr Christine Palmer, a surgeon, and Strange's love interest.