Daniel Dae Kim released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter confirming his casting for Lionsgate’s Hellboy reboot and applauded the producers and especially Ed Skrein for bowing out of the role he’s taking on.
Mike Mignola created Hellboy back in 1993, telling the story of a demon being raised by a professor, growing up to fight supernatural evil beings for an organisation known as the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The upcoming reboot, formerly titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, will focus on Big Red squaring off against a medieval sorceress who seeks to destroy mankind.
Back in the middle of August it was revealed that Ed Skrein was cast in the role of Major Ben Daimio, a rugged military member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense who, due to a supernatural encounter, can turn into a jaguar when angered or in pain. In the comics, the character is Japanese-American and once the casting was announced, it was met with immediate backlash and with the outcry of whitewashing an Asian-American character, Ed Skrein within a week from his casting decided to step down from the role so that a more culturally appropriate actor could take on the role.
In his statement to THR, Daniel Dae Kim said:
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.
Hellboy is being directed by Neil Marshall, and will be filming in the UK and Bulgaria this month. Daniel Dae Kim will be joining a cast that includes David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Lane and Penelope Mitchell.