UPDATED with quote from Kim: Kim has officially signed on to star in Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. He announced the news today saying, “I’m excited to confirm that I’ve officially joined the cast of Hellboy. We start shooting today and I’ll be playing Ben Daimio, alongside our very talented cast, headed by David Harbour, and director, Neil Marshall.”
He also was very aware of the whitewashing backlash surrounding the initial casting of Ed Skrein saying, “Thank you for all the supportive tweets and comments, especially in light of the recent events surrounding its original casting. To that, I will only add that 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.”
EARLIER: After hitting some speed bumps in the casting department for the forthcoming Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, Deadline has confirmed that Daniel Dae Kim is in talks to star in the reboot, replacing Ed Skrein.
The British actor was set to play the role of Ben Daimio, who, in the Mike Mignola comic books, is a Japanese American whose heritage has a heavy influence on his character. After “whitewashing” backlash, Skrein respectfully stepped down from the role. This may or may not have caused a pivot in Hollywood’s trend of casting white actors in roles meant for Asian and Asian Americans. This has been the source of controversy in a string of recent films including Death Note, Doctor Strange, Ghost in the Shell, and Aloha.
Even though choosing Kim for the Neil Marshall-directed film would be ideal, it must be noted that he is Korean American and not Japanese American like the character of Ben Daimio. Once he officially signs on, he will join David Harbour, Ian McShane, and Milla Jovovich.
Kim recently exited CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 with co-star Grace Park after their headline-making pay dispute. He also serves as Executive Producer of the upcoming series The Good Doctor starring Freddie Highmore. He is repped by United Agents, UTA and Anonymous Content.