Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Cop Out: Doctor Strange and The Ancient One
boiled down to 1) Old Asian man is a stereotype and 2) You can't mention Tibet if you want to get China money. Marvel responded they have a history of diversity in casting it's films and this version of The Ancient One is Celtic. To me, they could have just said, "we wanted to cast Tilda Swinton" and left it at that. But instead, this all just seems like a giant cop out. If old Asian Man is a stereotype, Tibet acknowledgement and Chinese box office are the main concerns, then don't call it Tibet, make up a fictional country in Asia. Marvel already has the faux nations of Wakanda, Latveria and Sokovia among others in Africa and Europe. Don't want to portray a stereotype? Then create a character that is well rounded and kick ass to teach Doctor Strange. Better yet, cast an actor that has box office clout in China. Now you have a positive Asian character and your Chinese movie chedda. But if you just wanted to get a respected, elder actor into the Marvel formula a la Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Redford or Michael Douglas then just say and do so. Don't offer up half ass excuses instead.
white people heroes. No one is going to argue that Ejiofor is a solid actor but including him in the film feeds into Marvel's growing habit of giving their white heroes black/minotiry sidekicks. After Ejiofor you've got Anthony Mackie backing up Chris Evans, Don Cheadle there for Robert Downey Jr., while Paul Rudd got Michael Pena. That's diversity to a degree but it's not like this or any Hollywood film will lack in white actors on the poster or trailer. Meanwhile Benedict Wong was nowhere to be seen in the preview. We'll see how Marvel navigates these new choppy waters. But I'm sure the film will be excellent and rake in a couple bucks.