The Ancient one shields Dr. Strange from the evil Mordo.

The Ancient one shields Dr. Strange from the evil Mordo.

Who will take the role of Doctor Strange’s Ancient One?

Last week, we learned that the omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking the role of Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange.  Now, Latino Review has revealed the top 3 contenders for Strange’s geriatric guru, the Ancient One.  Morgan Freeman, Bill Nighy, and Ken Watanabe are all rumored to be front runners for the role.

Slashfilm previously reported that this will not be an origin story, so the role of the Ancient One will not be as prominent as the original script called for.

Doctor Strange, they had a script in house forever….It’s a pretty standard origin story for Doctor Strange, it’s gotta Baron von Mordo as the bad guy. That’s all gone. Marvel’s new thing is no more origin stories. So Doctor Strange’s movie no longer has an origin.

Nevertheless, I’m honestly not thrilled with any of the three.  Here’s why:


Nighy.  Call me!

I love Bill Nighy in everything he’s in.  I do.  I just don’t see him as the Ancient One.  Maybe the fault here is mine, perhaps my imagination has been stunted by my unending consumption of Laffy Taffy and cartoons, but I just don’t see it.  I’d love to be wrong.  But not as much as I love Bill Nighy, because no love can compare to my love for this brilliant bastard.  The other issue I have is the ol’ movie whitewashing.  Marvel is doing an admirable job of retconning their ‘Whites Only’ past and casting a fairly iconic Asian character as a British dude (ignoring for a second the extensive and brutal history of British colonialism in the East) just strikes me as an unnecessary step backwards for minimal gain.  But by all means keep his number handy and cast him in something else.




No.  Really, honestly, just nu uh.  My problem with Freeman is that no matter what he’s in, he’s Morgan Freeman.  In a movie about the fantastical, mystical, trippy side of the Marvel world, seeing and hearing Freeman anywhere along the way will instantly break immersion.  Go away, Morgan Freeman.




On the surface, Watanabe seems perfect for the role.  And maybe he is.  Certainly it doesn’t take much of an imaginative leap to go from this picture to him as the Ancient One.  But it seems too…easy?  Uninspired?  Boring.  Of the three, I guess I’d have to pick him.  But I hope they keep looking.  Like Nighy, Watanabe is a fantastic actor who Marvel should definitely keep on their minds for whatever roles come up, but not this one.


My pick:

Mako. Do it.

Aku.  Conan’s sorcerer buddy.  Splinter.  Yeah I know he died in 2006.  So what.  They did it for Tupac.  Do it, Marvel.

Who is your pick for the Ancient One?