Neil Marshall's Hellboy reboot got in trouble with fans this past August after Deadpool's Ed Skrein came onboard as Major Ben Daimio. The character is Japanese-American in the comics, which made his casting yet another instance of whitewashing an Asian character. After considerable media backlash, Skrein graciously decided to part ways with the film in order to give Lionsgate the chance to cast an Asian actor in the role.
With production right around the corner, the studio and Marshall got the gears turning to find a replacement as quickly as possible. Fortunately for them, #DanielDaeKim entered negotiations to replace Skrein less than a month later. The actor has been a strong advocate for wider Asian representation in the entertainment industry, so fans (including myself) were curious to know how he felt about such a move. Now we know.
Thanking Ed Skrein For His Contribution To Diversity In The Film Industry
Turns out the Lost alum was just as much a fan of #EdSkrein's thoughtful act as we were. In a statement released through The Hollywood Reporter, the actor commended Skrein for paving the way for diversity in Hollywood:
"I applaud the producers and, in particular, Ed Skrein for championing the notion that Asian characters should be played by Asian or Asian American actors. He could not have addressed the issue more elegantly and I remain indebted to him for his strength of character."
In the second half of his statement, Kim confirmed he will be playing Major Daimio in Hellboy. The actor also thanked fans for the support sent his way after initial reports about his involvement in the reboot surfaced:
"I'm excited to confirm that I've officially joined the cast of 'Hellboy.' We start shooting today and I'll be playing Ben Daimio, alongside our very talented cast, headed by David Harbour, and director, Neil Marshall. Thank you for all the supportive tweets and comments, especially in light of the recent events surrounding its original casting."
Granted, his casting was pretty much a done deal when we heard about it, but it's nonetheless nice to have confirmation from the actor himself. Kim also shared the announcement on Twitter, and fortunately for him, countless people responded with messages of support, love and excitement to see him fighting alongside our favorite demonic antihero:
It's great to see how much of an impact one decision can have on something as big as the entertainment industry. I can't wait to see him as Major Daimio. He's a great actor that will surely bring something special to the #Hellboy reboot.
Hellboy hits theaters sometime in 2018. But while we wait for the film to arrive, take a trip down memory lane with the first movie's original trailer:
What do you think about Daniel Dae Kim's statement about Ed Skrein's departure? How do you feel about his casting in Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]