Fans were outraged at the casting, as the character, who teaches Steven Strange the arts, is Tibetan in the comics.
While many claimed that the part should have gone to an Asian actor, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige claimed he was trying not to "play into any of the stereotypes found in the comic books" by casting Tilda in the role.
"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."
He continued: "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?"
The director of the film, Scott Derrickson, has also reassured fans over the matter on Twitter.
He wrote: "Raw anger/hurt from Asian-Americans over Hollywood whitewashing, stereotyping & erasure of Asians in cinema. I am listening and learning."
Former 'Star Trek' actor George Takei was just one high-profile critic to blast studio bosses over the casting, penning an angry Facebook post last week.
He wrote: "So let me get this straight. You cast a white actress so you wouldn’t hurt sales…in Asia? This backpedaling is nearly as cringeworthy as the casting. Marvel must think we’re all idiots."
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the titular character in 'Doctor Strange', with the film telling the story of Stephen Vincent Strange, a talented neurosurgeon obsessed with making money from his career.
‘Doctor Strange’ is slated for release in November.
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