Daniel Dae Kim in Talks for ‘Hellboy’s Ben Daimio, Which Is a Truly Perfect Choice
The new Hellboy movie hit a big of a snag a couple weeks ago when it cast Deadpool villain Ed Skrein as canonically Japanese-American character major Ben Daimio. Skrein has since stepped down from the role after he realized the implications of him playing a character of color, and the movie went back to square one to find a replacement. Good news: they have. Extremely good news: it’s Lost star Daniel Dae Kim.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kim is in negotiations to play the character who joined the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense after an unfortunate brush with a Bolivian jaguar-god. Skrein stepped down two weeks ago, saying in a statement that “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 voices in the Arts.” Lionsgate’s statement was similar, assuring those upset by the controversy that “It was not our intent to be insensitive to issues of authenticity and ethnicity, and we will look to recast the part with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material.”
Kim, for his part, is no stranger to this kind of dust-up. He and co-star Grace Park left Hawaii Five-0 after a salary dispute in which Kim demanded to be paid as much as the show’s other (white) stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.
Kim, who is Korean-American, would be perfect for the role of Daimio, and would add a multicultural spark to a cast that so far has been, though very good, also very white. Plus, if this film is the first of many, those in charge should account for the fact that his heritage does come into play in a major way later on in the comics.