Swinton has emerged as the front runner to portray the Ancient One, opposite fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In the comic book, the Ancient One is a male, Tibetan mystic who trains his students to become sorcerers.

Marvel Studio executives were originally looking to cast a male actor in the role, but decided to twist the part for Swinton, who played a man in 1992 arthouse movie Orlando.

Doctor Strange, which follows the story of a former neurosurgeon who discovers a hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions, will begin shooting in November (15) in the U.K.

It will be directed by The Exorcism of Emily Rose filmmaker Scott Derrickson.