It’s like they say: “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”
With last December’s news that Benedict Cumberbatch would officially be donning the Eye of Agamotto as the Sorcerer Supreme in Marvel’s 2016 Doctor Strange, it was only a matter of time before his mentor, the Ancient One was cast. Rumor had it a few months ago that spooky, ethereal witch-lady Tilda Swinton may turn things on their heads as a female Ancient One.
Now, officially, Swinton stands revealed as the Strange’s teacher. What I know about the Ancient One I could fill a thimble with, but I’m considerably more familiar with Tilda. She had this to say about donning the old dude’s robes:
Well, there’s no particular interest in getting into something bigger, or even smaller, I just really liked the premise of this and the idea of playing this character. 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!
It’s one thing to be really excited, but I think that it bodes well that Swinton is “really, really, really” excited. I’m all for doing things differently and gender-swapping major characters certainly falls into that category.
Doctor Strange is sure to give us at least a slightly different experience than most of the films in Marvel’s cinematic universe as it should firmly grasp the mystical side of things rather than pretend they don’t exist (I’m looking at you, Asgardians). With a race-bent Baron Mordo played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Swinton’s gender-bent Ancient One, Strange promises to be one worth seeing.