British actor Ed Skrein initially signed on to play Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming Hellboy roboot. Then he discovered the original comic book character was a Japanese-American whose grandmother served as an Imperial assassin during World War II.
We fully support his unselfish decision. 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.
Recent examples of whitewashing in Hollywood: Scarlet Johansson in the lead role of Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost In the Shell, and Emma Stone as a character of Hawaiian and Chinese descent in Cameron Crowe's Aloha.
100% agree. Glad he stood up for it when he didn't have to.— J-Money (@advent_crash) August 28, 2017
Oh wow. I didn't know much about him, but I'm a big fan now. It takes courage to stand up like that. I hope they can find him another role.— Thomas Sholan (@Thomassholan) August 28, 2017
That is someone who has the courage of his convictions.— AprilFoolsRebel (@AprilFoolsRebel) August 28, 2017
Game of Thrones and Westworld director Neil Marshall is set to helm the next installment in the franchise, which will hew closer to the comic book rather than serve as a sequel to Guillermo del Toro's previous adaptations.
David Harbour will play the eponymous character, with co-stars Ian McShane and Milla Jovovich. The October filming date will reportedly not be affected by recasting delays.