Marvel boss Kevin Feige regrets whitewashing the Ancient One in Doctor Strange! Tilda Swinton was cast as the MCU version of the Ancient One who trains Strange to become a sorcerer and it caused a bit of a reaction. Fans and media alike began accusing Marvel of whitewashing the character, whom had an Asian heritage in the comics. Personally, looking back, I loved Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, but Kevin Feige is seeing the other side of that argument now.
“We thought we were being so smart, and so cutting-edge,” Kevin Feige told Men’s Health in a new cover story on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu. “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.”
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The after-effect of this was a big part of what led Feige to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Feige realized early on that the popularity of a Marvel character wasn’t actually a huge factor.
“That sort of proved early on that it wasn’t about how famous the character was, but about how great their potential was for becoming a cool movie, or series of movies,” he said. “And Shang-Chi has had that potential for so long.”
“Once we finished what we call now The Infinity Saga, we rolled up our sleeves and said, ‘OK, what’s next?’ What are we going to kick off the next?” he said. “The next sort of evolution of the MCU post- our first big saga, and that’s why Shang-Chi was at the very top of that list.”
Will Shang-Chi be a good film? I hope so, but for me as a fan, that’s all I’m looking at. Not the political or diversity aspect which I appreciate the need for. Hey, I’m just a fanboy at heart though, so if the movie is great, I don’t care about much else. I do have high hopes for Shang-Chi in the MCU, but time will tell on that front.
What do you think of his comments that Kevin Feige regrets whitewashing the Ancient One in Doctor Strange? Any thoughts below as always.