Daniel Dae Kim has confirmed his involvement with the upcoming Hellboy reboot. Guillermo del Toro originally brought the comic book superhero Hellboy onto the big screen with his 2004 adaptation starring Ron Perlman as the eponymous character. The movie was successful enough to spawn a sequel, titled Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which released in 2008. Unfortunately, for various reasons, del Toro and Universal Pictures weren't able to deliver the series' final installment, and so, instead, Lionsgate and Millennium Films have decided to pursue a full-fledged reboot.
The upcoming Hellboy reboot will be directed by Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones) and star David Harbour (Stranger Things) as the eponymous character. The film was originally subtitled Rise of the Blood Queen, but the name has since been dropped for unknown reasons. With production expected to begin very soon, Hellboy has been busy rounding out its cast throughout the summer. One such casting decision Lionsgate made was hiring Ed Skrein (Deadpool) to play Major Ben Daimio, a decision that resulted in fan outcry. The character is Japanese-American and casting Skrein prompted a whitewashing controversy. The actor quickly abandoned the role and the studio vowed to find someone more in-line with the character's ethnicity.
Former LOST and Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim was reportedly in talks to replace Skrein as Major Ben Daimio. The actor has since confirmed his role on Twitter and he has even provided a statement to THR regarding the whitewashing controversy:
“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."
While Dae Kim is certainly Asian-American, people may still find fault with the studio casting him in the role. After all, as previously mentioned, the character is Japanese-American and Dae Kim is Korean-American. Unfortunately, Hollywood has always struggled with whitewashing controversies, but it's something that has become increasingly more prevalent in recent years, especially among major blockbuster releases such as Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell. So, even though casting an Asian-American in the role of Ben Daimio is a step in the right direction, Hollywood still has some way to go before they can completely acquit themselves of whitewashing claims.
In addition to casting Dae Kim, the Hellboy reboot also features Ian McShane as Professor Broom, Penelope Mitchell as Ganeida, and Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, plus Milla Jovovich as the main villain, the Blood Queen. The reboot is expected to commence principal photography this fall, which means the film could hit theaters sometime next fall. But, we'll just have to wait and see.