Tilda Swinton Will Be Benedict Cumberbatch’s Psychic Mentor, The Ancient One, in ‘Doctor Strange’


“We’re so far in talks we’re not talking anymore. It’s done!” Tilda Swinton said in an interview with Screen Crush regarding negotiations for her to play The Ancient One in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. And yes, that means exactly what it sounds like: Tilda Swinton will play Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. Tilda Swinton will be near-immortal. Tilda Swinton will roam the globe, collecting knowledge of its many secrets. Tilda Swinton will be able to levitate and perform astral projection. Given that the pop-cultural tendency is to assume that Swinton already is/does all of these things, it’s doubtful anyone will have to suspend their disbelief for a second come the release of Dr. Strange.

The film will, as it’s previously been reported, star Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange himself, with Swinton’s The Ancient One serving as his mentor in psychic matters. Swinton said in the interview:

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!

When asked about Marvel’s tendency to weave sequel deals into their contracts, she said it doesn’t worry her, hinting that her reappearance in other Marvel movies is quite possible in saying, “Who knows where one [such opportunity] might pop up.”

The film is being directed by Scott Derickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), and is also rumored to star Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It’s currently in pre-production.

Have you regained consciousness yet?