Marvel boss Kevin Feige says he regrets whitewashing Asian character in Doctor Strange

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Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange (©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserv)
Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange (©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserv)

Marvel boss Kevin Feige has said he regretted the casting of white actor Tilda Swinton in a historically Asian role in 2016’s Doctor Strange.

Swinton played The Ancient One, a character that is depicted in the original comics as an Asian man. 

Her casting was criticised at the time as an example of “whitewashing”, but filmmaker Scott Derrickson defended the move, insisting it was in fact a measure to avoid “contributing to a bad stereotype”.

Now, in an interview with Men’s Health, Feige has reflected on the decision and expressed regret over the choice.

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

The producer made the comments while promoting the forthcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Shang-Chi, released on 3 September 2021, will be the first Marvel film to have an actor of Asian descent as its lead.

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch on 'The Courier' and update on 'Dr. Strange' sequel

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