Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is starting to make the press rounds for Doctor Strange, which hits theaters exactly two weeks from today on November 4. Last week, the studio president and producer was in Hong Kong for a press conference for this Marvel Phase 3 adventure, where he confirmed that one of that movie’s supporting characters will in fact return in Avengers: Infinity War. The character in question is none other than Benedict Wong’s Wong, who is a “key character” moving forward. Here’s what the producer had to say at the press conference below.
“It was always our intention to make Wong a very noble character and a very big part of the movie from the beginning. That was the idea for the character. Now with more trailers out, you’ll see that (Benedict Wong) is amazing (in Doctor Strange). He also is continuing forward into the Avengers movies as well. I’m not sure if I have told anybody else that yet. Yes, Wong. Because he’s always a very key character for us.”
Benedict Wong revealed in a previous interview that his character Wong will be much different than in the comics, with the actor describing his character as a “drill sergeant” of the Kamar-Taj and one of the masters of sorcery. Kevin Feige also teased at the press conference, courtesy of Channel News Asia, that they almost couldn’t secure Benedict Wong because he is quite busy as well. He also talked about how frustrating it was that Wong wasn’t in the first trailer more.
“We talk about Benedict Cumberbatch so much because he is the title character. But we almost didn’t get Benedict Wong because he is a very busy actor too. We had to shuffle and allow ourselves to be available for him because we really wanted him and because he is a great actor! What was frustrating was that in the first trailer that came out there when some of the controversy (about race) started, the Wong character wasn’t featured very much in that trailer just because it was the teaser trailer and we had to get this crazy concept out … that we couldn’t put in all these other characters. So part of me was sitting there going, wait till you see Wong!”
The controversy Kevin Feige is referring to is the “whitewashing” for The Ancient One role, played by Tilda Swinton. The Ancient One character is typically portrayed in the comics as an Asian male, although screenwriter C. Robert Cargill stated in an interview that the character’s comic book portrayal was a racist stereotype. Still, Marvel has come under fire recently for their lack of diversity, so bringing Benedict Wong in for a major role in Avengers: Infinity War is most certainly a step in the right direction.