Daniel Dae Kim to Replace Ed Skrein in ‘Hellboy’ Reboot

Daniel Dae Kim Hellboy
David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Daniel Dae Kim is in talks to replace Ed Skrein in Lionsgate’s “Hellboy” reboot starring David Harbour.

The studio was quick to replace Skrein after the actor exited the film in late August following public backlash, which reignited conversations about whitewashing in Hollywood, over him being cast in a role that was originally an Asian character in the comics.


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Skrein’s casting follows similar recent controversies in which white actors have been set for roles originally portrayed by people of Asian descent. Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a Japanese human-cyborg in “Ghost in the Shell” caused an uproar earlier this year, as did Tilda Swinton’s role as the Ancient One in “Doctor Strange” — a character depicted as an Asian male in the comic source material.

Harbour is playing the titular character in “Hellboy.” Neil Marshall is directing the movie, which also stars Ian McShane and Milla Jovovich.

Kim and his “Hawaii Five-0” costar Grace Park exited the CBS show in June following controversy over salary parity. The actors had been seeking equal pay with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but failed to reach deals with CBS Television Studios.

He addressed the exit in a Facebook post in early July. “Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue,” Kim wrote.

“As an Asian-American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho,” he added. “I will miss him sincerely. What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love. It has been nothing short of an honor to be able to showcase the beauty and people of Hawaii every week, and I couldn’t be prouder to call these islands home.”

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  1. Angela says:

    This is who they should have picked in the first place!

  2. SmartOne says:

    OK – to people who are saying DDK is not Japanese and comparing that to Ed Skrein – you are really going down a never ending rabbit hole. British actors play Americans all the time. Spanish actors play Mexicans. German actors play English people. This happens all the time. Hollywood’s underlying issue with race is that originally Asian descent roles are changed to white roles because I guess they think it’s more palatable to middle America.

    • sure jan says:

      PRECISELY. Continuing to moan because he isn’t from the *exact* same country as the character is ludicrous.

      • sure jan says:

        Well, I certainly did not complain about those…but, correct me if I’m wrong, weren’t those actors outside the races of the characters? (Maybe not necessarily Scarlett’s…heard conflicting things about that one…) Anyways, I don’t think that letting a Korean man play a Japanese man, orrrr, say, an American one play a British one (or any other such scenario) implies that the filmmakers believe all people of a certain race are exactly alike.

      • loco73 says:

        It’s ludicrous to you perhaps. Then by those same standards it was also ludicrous to complain about Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost In The Shell” or Idris Elba in “The Dark Tower”…you can’t have it both ways…

  3. loco73 says:

    But he is Korean-American, not Japanese…quite the difference…plenty of Japanese and Japanese – American actors they could have cast. Or is this a case of “but they all look the same” …

    People loose their marbles when it’s a case of whitewashing, but seem not to care about the rest of the details when it comes to something like casting a Korean-American actor in the role of a character who is Japanese-American…

    So Daniel Dae Kim should excuse himself from the role and step aside from it and let a Japanese-American be cast instead.

    See what happens when you go down the rabbit hole?!

    • loco73 says:

      Yes, so perhaps we shouldn’t go down a never ending rabbit hole…

      The fact the you are comparing a British actor playing an Americam character, or a German playing an English man, with an actor of Korean descent playing a character of Japanese descent, shows that you have no idea what you are talking about.

      So nope, according to the rules the role has to go to an actor of an American-Japanese actor. You can’t birch and moan about one but ignore the other. That is politically correct casting for you!

      Maybe actors should be hired on talent and skills first and foremost…

      • Samit Basu says:

        Japanese American is a dwindling population that is being absorbed into White American population, as there are more half-white Japanese American babies born each year than non-white Japanese American babies.

        Additionally, no Japanese actor speaks English, this is why Watanabe Ken is such a rarity.

    • ME says:

      White British men play American men all the time!! Your point makes no sense

      • loco73 says:

        Then stop bitching about white washing and Oscars so white and whatever other bullshit and outrage of the day is trending on a particular day.

        How about just making good movies and having the best possible actors in them, with solid characters and interesting storylines? Instead of the mountains of cinematic garbage we have been subjected to over past few years…

      • sure jan says:

        You’re right; it doesn’t. If white actors aren’t limited to playing characters from their very specific countries of origin/nationalities/ethnicities, why should others? (And, bigger picture: How many people have the slightest idea who this character is or where he’s from or even that Hellboy was a comic first?! Not many…)

      • loco73 says:

        Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to you…but then it’s not surprising…

    • Jackman2tall says:

      Are you aware that the hypothetical situation you made up didn’t actually happen? It appears all that happens when you go down the rabbit hole is the same thing that happens whenever casting news about a comic book movie breaks, random people get butt hurt and then bitch about it in the comments.

  4. Lisa D. says:

    Oh, yes, please!!!!! He’s the reason we watched “Hawaii Five-O” (shame on you, CBS).

    • Doug says:

      He chose to leave on his own terms. He has always had less screen time than the other two leads, which is why he was getting paid slightly less.

      • TV Viewer says:

        Scott Cann missed 5 or more episodes every year, because, he commutes to Hawaii, (where he works), from Los Angeles, (where his family lives). Daniel Dae Kim was in almost every episode of Hawaii Five-O since the series premier.
        Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park should have gotten the same pay as Scott Caan, another supporting actor, not as much as Alex O’Loughlin the star of the show.

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