Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive

Doctor Strange is about to get a good dose of strange. Tilda Swinton is in talks to join Benedict Cumberbatch in the Marvel adventure, which is being directed by Scott Derrickson.

As if that weren’t insane enough, Derrickson has also dropped a hint that Death itself could stop by the movie. More on the Tilda Swinton Doctor Strange casting, and the possible Death appearance, after the jump. 

THR broke the news about Swinton. Doctor Strange stars Cumberbatch as the title character, a cocky surgeon who injures his hands. In an attempt to fix himself, he stumbles into the discovery of magic. Swinton will play the Ancient One, a Tibetan mystic who becomes Strange’s mentor.

The character is male in the comics, and Marvel initially wanted a male actor. Indeed, Chiwetel EjioforMorgan FreemanBill Nighy, and Ken Watanabe were among those rumored for the role in the past. But the filmmakers have obviously changed their minds, presumably because Tilda Swinton is an ethereal being who transcends such petty human distinctions.

Swinton has a made a career of eclectic choices. Last year she appeared in four films — Only Lovers Left AliveSnowpiercer, The Zero Theorem, and The Grand Budapest Hotel — and was nearly unrecognizable from one role to the next. Next up for her are the Coen Bros. musical dramedy Hail, Caesar! and the Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck. She previously won an Oscar in 2008 for Michael Clayton.

Doctor Strange isn’t Swinton’s first brush with comic book movies. She played the angel Gabriel in the 2005 Vertigo Comics adaptation Constantine, which starred Keanu Reeves as the chain-smoking antihero. It will, however, be her first time working with either Cumberbatch or Derrickson.

As for that Death rumor, that started with Derrickson himself, who posted the following tweet:

It could just be Derrickson messing with us, or it could be something more. “Death” in the Marvel comics is exactly what it sounds like — a literal personification of death. It sounds weird, but that’s what you get when you start venturing into the cosmic corner of the Marvel universe.

If the character does appear, she could serve as the the bridge between Doctor Strange and the larger Avengers: Infinity War storyline. In the books, Thanos is in love with Death, and it’s to impress her that he collects the Infinity Stones, which are capable of destruction on a universal level.

Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016. Shooting begins this fall in the U.K. [THR]

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