Daniel Dae Kim (“Hawaii Five-0”) is in talks to replace Ed Skrein (“Deadpool”) in the upcoming reboot of “Hellboy,” according to Variety. If Lionsgate manages to land Kim, the film might regain its momentum after a previous whitewashing controversy.
Skrein, who is white, was originally cast as Japanese American character Major Ben Daimio from the “Hellboy” comics. The public casting announcement was met with the ire of fans of color. The actor quickly found himself embroiled in an ongoing controversy about Hollywood whitewashing Asian characters; in a refreshing turn of events, Skrein stepped down from the role a few days later. In a statement he posted on Twitter, he noted that “it is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity…if this decision brings up closer to that day, it is worth it.”
Kim is no stranger to racism in Hollywood himself, having recently left his role as police officer Chin Ho Kelly on “Hawaii Five-0” after he and costar Grace Park were offered 10-15% less money than their white costars amidst contract negotiations. In a Facebook message to his fans, he thanked CBS and producers Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci “for their faith in me to bring Chin Ho Kelly to life. An an Asian American actor, I know how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho.” He continued, “the path to equality is rarely easy,” all but confirming rumors he and Park left over pay inequality with their white costars.
If Kim boards the comic reboot, “Hellboy” producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin will make good on their promise to “recast the part [of Daimio] with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material,” according to THR. Kim is no stranger to the action genre, as he previously played a badass police officer on “Hawaii Five-0.”
“Hellboy” has already secured David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) as the smoking, crimson superhero, with Ian McShane (“American Gods”) playing his adoptive father and Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil”) playing an evil, medieval sorceress. Neil Marshall (“Centurion”) is set to direct the screenplay by Andrew Cosby (“Eureka”), Christopher Golden (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), and Mike Mignola, which is based off Mignola’s original comics.