When Deadpool star Ed Skrein was announced as Major Ben Daimio in Neil Marshall's Hellboy reboot, the casting sparked a fresh wave of whitewashing concerns. Skrein eventually opted to leave the Japanese-American role in the hopes it would land a more appropriate actor, and -- as a result -- Lionsgate entered negotiations with Hawaii Five-O's Daniel Dae Kim for the part. Accompanying the announcement that he has officially signed on for the role, Kim praised Skrein's "strength of character" during his response to the delicate situation.
"I’m excited to confirm that I’ve officially joined the cast of Hellboy," Kim told The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
"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," Kim added. "He could not have addressed the issue more elegantly and I remain indebted to him for his strength of character."
Kim's character Daimio is a member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.R.P.D.) who possesses the ability to turn himself into a jaguar when angered or in physical peril.
Targeted for release in 2018, director Neil Marshall’s Hellboy stars David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen and Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan.