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Daniel Dae Kim, officially confirming he has joined the cast of Lionsgate and Millennium’s Hellboy reboot, issued a statement thanking the movie’s producers and Ed Skrein, the actor who stepped aside so that a culturally appropriate person could take the role.
“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,” said Kim. “He could not have addressed the issue more elegantly and I remain indebted to him for his strength of character.”
Kim is playing Major Ben Daimio, a rugged military member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense who, due to a supernatural encounter, can turn into a jaguar when angered or in pain. The character is Japanese-American in the Hellboy comics by creator Mike Mignola.
In August, Skrein was cast in the part but, after an outcry over whitewashing an Asian-American character, made the unprecedented move to step down later that month.
“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,” Skrein said in a statement at the time.
In his statement, Kim now says, “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.”
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