LOS ANGELES, May 5 (UPI) -- Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson is acknowledging the movie's casting controversy.
The 49-year-old director assured fans he is "listening and learning" following outrage over Tilda Swinton's casting as the Ancient One, an Asian character in the Marvel comics.
"Raw anger/hurt from Asian-Americans over Hollywood whitewashing, stereotyping & erasure of Asians in cinema," Derrickson tweeted. "I am listening and learning."
Swinton herself said she is "confident" about her casting during a roundtable interview with reporters last week. The Ancient One, who is a Tibetan man in the comics, will be reimagined as Celtic in the movie adaptation.
"The script that I was presented with did not feature an Asian man for me to play, so that was never a question when I was being asked to do it," the actress said.
"All will be revealed when you see the film, I think," she added. "There are very great reasons for us to feel very settled and confident with the decisions that were made."
The Doctor Strange controversy comes amid concern about the underrepresentation of Asian actors in movies and television. Many are upset about whitewashing, or the re-casting of white actors in minority roles, such as Swinton as the Ancient One and Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell.
"Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casing of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its [Marvel cinematic universe] to life," the studio said in response to Swinton's casting.
Doctor Strange co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chitwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams and opens in theaters Nov. 4. The movie follows the titular character as he becomes the Sorcerer Supreme under the tutelage of the Ancient One.