Upon its release in 2016, the Scott Derrickson-directed Marvel Cinematic Universe film Doctor Strange was met with some criticism after Tilda Swinton was cast in the role of the Ancient One instead of sticking to the Asian depiction of the character in the comic books.
In an interview with Men’s Health, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige acknowledged that the casting of Swinton was a misstep despite the film explaining that the mantle of the ‘Ancient One’ was passed down through generations.
“We thought we were being so smart, and so cutting-edge. We’re not going to do the cliché 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 cliché and cast an Asian actor?’ And the answer to that, of course, is yes.”
Swinton would later reprise her role of the Ancient One in Avengers: Endgame after the Avengers returned to the past to collect the Time Stone in order to defeat Thanos, however, she is not expected to return for Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is scheduled to debut in theatres on March 25th, 2022.