Marvel’s Kevin Feige says he regrets whitewashing Tilda Swinton’s character in ‘Doctor Strange’

The Ancient One was portrayed in the comics as an Asian man

Marvel boss Kevin Feige has admitted that he regrets whitewashing The Ancient One character in Doctor Strange.

Tilda Swinton took up the role in the 2016 movie despite the fact the character is portrayed in the comics as an Asian man.

Marvel Studios defended the casting leading up to the film’s release, which led to a backlash.


“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,” Marvel said at the time.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange Credit: XPX/Star Max/GC Images

“The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.”

But now Feige has addressed the concerns and admitted it could have been handled differently.

Speaking to Men’s Health about the upcoming Marvel film Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, he said that an Asian actor should have portrayed The Ancient One.

“We thought we were being so smart, and so cutting-edge,” he said. “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.”


Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch recently apologised to fans after Doctor Strange failed to make an appearance in the final episode of WandaVision.