It has most definitely been a Strange week in Comic Nook News. Details have been steadily pouring in about the upcoming Marvel film, and today’s bit of news is no different. During an interview with EW, Marvel’s Kevin Feige gave some scintillating details on what we can expect from the world of Strange. Tilda Swinton’s (Snowpiercer, Constantine) role as the enigmatic Ancient One, and Chewitel Ejiofor’s (12 Years A Slave) were discussed. On the matter of Swinton playing the role of a character who — in the comics — was an elderly Asian man, Feige had this to say;
“We’re never afraid to change. In the comic books, Jarvis is an elderly butler. In the movies, he’s an A.I. system which becomes Paul Bettany’s Vision. We are always looking for ways to change. I think if you look at some of the early incarnations of the Ancient One in the comics, they are what we would consider today to be quite, sort of, stereotypical. They don’t hold up to what would work today. Also, within the storyline of the comics, and our movie, ‘the Ancient One’ is a title that many people have had. We hit very early on on, What if the Ancient One was a woman? What if the title had been passed and the current Ancient One is a woman? Oh, that’s an interesting idea. [Clicks fingers.] Tilda Swinton! Whoah! And it just hit.”
On the Ancient One’s methods, gender, its importance in the film, as well as her mysterious nature, it makes [her] a bit of a coin toss.
“Look, she’s a chameleon in everything she does,” Feige went on to say. “She has this amazing [ability to] harness of this androgynous sense. So, we use the term ‘her’ and ‘she’ in the film but, other than that, it’s very androgynous. Because it doesn’t matter.”
As for Baron Mordo, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor gave a bit of insight on his relationship with the Ancient One, his feelings towards Stephen Strange and his standing as a ‘sorcerer’;
“In terms of his life with the Ancient One, it’s this long and intense relationship they have that’s just very deep and very connected,” Ejiofor said. “I think they both recognize in Strange this certain quality that they feel is going to be very useful in a situation they’re in — just by the nature of who he is, and the way that he operates, and the way his mind works, and the certain skill set and personality that he has. So, when they all meet, they realize that he’s somebody that can be plugged into this very surreal, interesting, sort of fascinating circumstance that they’re all in, and the dangers that they face. And so it becomes a process of assimilating him into their ways of life.”
And on the matter of Mordo’s descent into villainy?
“Oh, he’s a very complex character that, really, I don’t think can be nailed down either way, you know. I guess it’s something to experience, is what I’d say.”
So yes, of course Ejiofor — rather slyly — manages to dodge the answer. I suppose only time will tell if Baron Mordo will go the way of the dark mage in the upcoming film.
Directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Deliver Us From Evil) and boasting a script by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Passengers), Doctor Strange is slated for theater release on November 4, 2016.
Doctor Strange will be an origin story about the titular neurosurgeon who, after a horrific accident is left without the use of his hands, embarks on a journey into the realm of magic, mysticism and the vastness of alternate dimensions.
As always, stay plugged in to SE for more Comic Nook News as it develops.