Following a fairly high profile controversy regarding claims of whitewashing from the upcoming Hellboy reboot, Lionsgate and crew have taken a step in the right direction following Ed Skrein’s departure from the film. Skrein was originally cast as Major Ben Daimio – a Japanese-American demon zombie werejaguar and leader of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) – before he apparently realized the character’s origins and dropped out of production.
The latest news from the set is that former Hawaii Five-0 and Lost star Daniel Dae Kim has signed on to replace Skrein in the role, which shows the studio is learning from previous mistakes. Of course, Daniel Dae Kim is actually Korean-American instead of Japanese-American like Daimio, so Hellboy still doesn’t end up with culturally accurate casting for the role. It’s still better than another role of color swapped for a white guy, but still some room to grow when it comes to properly casting diverse actors.
With that being said, Kim is a great addition to the film, and will no doubt bring the character of Daimio to life on the big screen. While much of the plot of Hellboy is still unknown at this time, the casting of actors like Milla Jovovich as Nemnue the Blood Queen, and Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan continue to point towards ‘The Wild Hunt’ storyline. With Daimio’s inclusion, it revealed the addition of the B.P.R.D. to the film, though none of the members of the team that we’ve seen in the previous trilogy have been confirmed as returning, besides Professor Broom, who will now be played by Ian McShane.
This new direction in casting for the character is a great step in the right direction, as Ed Skrein’s decision to leave the film was before it. Hopefully, the studios will continue to take value of the heritage of some of these characters by casting more diverse roles properly.
Hellboy begins filming this fall.
Images: CBS, Dark Horse, IGN