Daniel Dae Kim is reportedly in talks to join the cast of the upcoming Hellboy reboot, following actor Ed Skrein’s decision to drop out of the role over whitewashing criticism.
Skrein dropped out of the movie last month following claims that the film was whitewashing the character, Major Ben Aimio who is described as a character of mixed Asian heritage in the comics.
“Last week it was announced that I would be playing Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming HELLBOY reboot,” he tweeted at the time. “I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage. There has been an intense conversation and understandable upset since that announcement, and I must do what I feel is right.”
The actor’s decision to take a stand against whitewashing in Hollywood came after a series of controversial casting decisions in which white actors portrayed people of Asian descent. Scarlett Johansson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matt Damon and Tilda Swinton are among Hollywood’s A-listers who have come under fire for playing iconic characters who were Asian in the source material.
While Kim has yet to confirm the casting decision, winning the role could be a big deal in the in the casting room and taking steps to provide equality in the film industry.
Earlier this year, Kim made headlines after he and his costar Grace Kim exited CBS’ action-packed reboot of Hawaii Five-O due to contract disputes with the network. Both Asian actors, who were series regulars on the show’s first seven seasons, were not offered the same pay as their white co-stars.
“That was a really important part of my life for seven years, and I’m really grateful to CBS and everyone involved with the show for giving me the opportunity,” Kim said during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in August. “That said, it’s possible to be grateful for the opportunity and respectful of the colleagues and the people that I work with and still maintain a steadfast sense of your self-worth.”