Lionsgate's Hellboy reboot avoided a potential disaster, when Ed Skrein graciously bowed out from playing Major Ben Daimio, upon learning the character is an Asian-American in the comics, leading to the casting of Daniel Dae Kim this week. Daniel Dae Kim has now released a statement, thanking Ed Skrein for doing the right thing, after his casting sparked a whitewashing outcry from the fans. Here's what Daniel Dae Kim had to say in thanking the producers of Hellboy and Ed Skrein for how he handled this situation.
"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."
The actor gave his statement to The Hollywood Reporter, where he also confirmed that, not only is his deal finalized, but that shooting has already started. While Lionsgate hasn't made an official start of production announcement, it certainly makes sense, since the studio revealed the first look at David Harbour in the new Hellboy costume yesterday, and since they set a January 11, 2019 release date for the reboot this morning. Here's what he had to say in the rest of his statement.
"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. Thank you for all the supportive tweets and comments, especially in light of the recent events surrounding its original casting."
Daniel Dae Kim joins a cast that is lead by David Harbour as the title character, with Milla Jovovich playing Nimue the Blood Queen, Ian McShane as Professor Broom, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan and Penelope Mitchell as Ganeida. There had been reports that filming on the Hellboy reboot would begin in September, which, according to Daniel Dae Kim's statement, have been proven to be true, but there are still a few characters who haven't been cast yet, or at least haven't been announced yet.
There was a casting call that surfaced last month which included characters from the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (B.R.P.D.) that have already been cast, such as Daniel Dae Kim's Ben Daimio and Sasha Lane's Alice Monaghan. There are others that still haven't been cast yet, though, including Abe Sapien, a character played by Doug Jones in the original two Hellboy movies, Gruagach, described as a fairy creature who looks like a pig, and is an adversary to Hellboy, Babe Yaga the Witch, King Arthur and Merlin. It remains to be seen when these characters will be cast, but with filming under way, we may get official word on who is playing these characters soon. Still, that casting call was never officially confirmed, but it does seem likely that these other characters will have a part in the story. Hopefully we'll find out more soon from this Hellboy reboot as production gets under way.