It looks like the second time could be the charm for the upcoming reboot of the Hellboy franchise. After actor Ed Skrein left the production when a controversy erupted over his casting in the role of a traditionally Japanese character, producers are now in talks with actor Daniel Dae Kim to replace him.
Skrein, best known for playing the villain in last year’s Deadpool, was announced last month to be playing the role of Ben Daimio.
In the Hellboy comics, Daimio works for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense and is portrayed as a Japanese-American man.
Amid an outcry from critics who called the casting yet another example of Hollywood whitewashing, producers continued to defend their decision.
On August 28, Skrein released a statement on Twitter stating he was unaware of the character’s cultural heritage and announced he was backing out of the role.
Kim is actually of Korean descent himself, but many would argue that an actor with any Asian ancestry would be better for the role than British-born Skrein.
The Hellboy backlash was the latest whitewashing controversy in recent years, with many angry over Scarlett Johansson’s role in Ghost in the Shell and Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange.
Kim himself was involved in a high-profile story regarding race earlier this summer when he and co-star Grace Park announced their exit from CBS’s Hawaii Five-0.
The duo had requested equal pay with their white co-stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but the network was unwilling to meet their terms.
The new Hellboy film (previously known as Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen) is a reboot of the series that began in 2004 and continued in 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Stranger Things co-star David Harbour will take over the role of Hellboy with Milla Jovovich as the evil Blood Queen.