Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ancient One

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Full of surprises
"Well, you are just full of surprises."
WARNING! This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Doctor Strange (film). Keep reading this article at your own risk.
"You wonder what I see in your future? Possibility."
―Ancient One to Doctor Strange[src]

The Ancient One is the Sorcerer Supreme and the leader of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, who mentored Doctor Strange in the use of magic following his accident.


Early Life

This section requires expansion

The Ancient One is a woman of Celtic descent.[3]


  • Sling Ring: A mystical object which enables the wearer to open a fiery portal to another location.
  • Magic Fans:





  • In the comics, the Ancient One was the previous holder of the title of Sorcerer Supreme who transcended into the spiritual plane after his death, becoming a minor cosmic entity.

Behind the Scenes

  • Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has stated that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe there have been several individuals who have held the title of The Ancient One throughout the ages: "As we were developing this film we looked at The Ancient One as a mantle more than a specific person. The sorcerers have been around for millennia, protecting us from things we didn’t know about until this story. There have been multiple [Ancient Ones], even if this one has been around for five hundred years, there were others. This is a mantle, and therefore felt we had leeway to cast in interesting ways."[4]
  • The casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One has been the subject of much controversy, with many accusing it of whitewashing. Screenwriter C. Robert Cargill explained that the motivation behind the casting was that the character in the comics is considered a racist caricature originating from Tibet, a country that has suffered much political unrest : "The Ancient One was a racist stereotype who comes from a region of the world that is in a very weird political place. He originates from Tibet. So if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullshit and risk the Chinese government going, ‘Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.’ If we decide to go the other way and cater to China in particular and have him be in Tibet… If you think it’s a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your damn fool mind and have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about."[5] Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also stated that the character's race and gender were changed to avoid stereotyping: "The casting of The Ancient One was a major topic of conversation in the development and the creative process of the story. We didn’t want to play into any of the stereotypes found in the comic books, some of which go back as far as 50 years or more. We felt the idea of gender swapping the role of The Ancient One was exciting. It opened up possibilities, it was a fresh way into this old and very typical storyline. Why not make the wisest bestower of knowledge in the universe to our heroes in the particular film a woman instead of a man?".[6]
  • Morgan Freeman, Bill Nighy and Ken Watanabe were originally considered for the role.[7]


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