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Kevin Feige on Wong: “Doesn’t Have a Lot of Time to Worry About Doctor Strange” Because He’s Not Just a Sidekick

For those of you concerned with Benedict Wong’s role in the upcoming Doctor Strange film, Marvel Entertainment President Kevin Feige says his character will be very different from what you’ve seen in the comics. In an interview with Slash Film, he insisted that Wong won’t be just another “assistant manservant.”

“Benedict Wong is a very different incarnation of that character,” he said. “He is not the assistant manservant. He was loyal in the books, and certainly fulfilled a purpose which I think could be one of the things you’re describing – a stereotype going back to any number of white hero-Asian driver, servant. That is not his role in this movie at all.”

To avoid the servant stereotype, he was given greater responsibility in the film. “Everyone in this movie knows more than Strange,” Feige added. “Everyone is more talented when it comes–for 90% of the movie, the magical abilities and the mastery of the mystic arts than Strange is, and Wong is a fellow warrior who has been a master in his own right. As we meet him in this movie, he’s tasked with protecting some of the most valuable relics and book Kamar-Taj has. He doesn’t have a lot of time to worry about Strange. So those are a few of the ways we’ve updated those characters.”

The update comes after Wong wasn’t even going to be in the movie in the first place. “We brought Wong back because, unlike the Ancient One, he could be completely subverted as a character and reworked into something that didn’t fall into any of the stereotypes of the comics,” director Scott Derrickson said in an interview.

While it does appear that the people behind Doctor Strange gave some thought to avoiding stereotypes, many have questioned why Tilda Swinton was cast as The Ancient One. The character was originally written as a Tibetan male, but has since been gender and race swapped under the reasoning that filmmakers were simply trying to avoid falling into a stereotype.  For some, that makes sense. For others, it’s just another excuse for whitewashing.

Since we have yet to see the film in its entirety, the jury’s still out on how both Wong and the Ancient One will be handled on the big screen.

(via SlashFilm, image via screencap)

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