In an exclusive scoop from The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Dae Kim (LOST, HAWAII FIVE-O) is in talks to join the cast of the upcoming HELLBOY reboot as Major Ben Daimio. You may recall that white actor Ed Skrein was originally cast, which understandably caused an uproar on social media because the character was specifically Japanese American. Skrein graciously departed the project, releasing the following statement on via Twitter:
“It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voice in the Arts. I feel it is important to honor and respect that,” he said in a statement.
Faced with a PR fiasco, Lionsgate, the studio behind the new reboot, said they would do better and had an open casting call looking for Asian American actors to fill the shoes of Daimio.
More from The Hollywood Reporter:
Kim is Korean American, and the actor is no stranger to standing up for his beliefs. In June, he quit Hawaii Five-0 after a salary dispute with CBS, as he had been seeking equal pay to the show’s stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. His departure, along with co-star Grace Park, left the show temporarily without Asian regulars.
David Harbour (Stranger Things) is starring in Hellboy, which reboots the franchise centered on the demonic hero from the Mignola comic books. Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall is helming the project.
Kim has been acting since the early 1990s and has appeared on shows such as ER and Angel. He became a known quantity and star thanks to his breakout work on ABC’s Lost, and co-starred on Five-O since it launched in 2010.