It seems like every week, we get some new Hellboy casting news, but this time around it comes with more than a little bit of controversy. While fans were relatively excited for the announcement of Mila Jovovich and Ian McShane being added to the cast, there were mixed emotions when this week’s announcement of Ed Skrein’s casting. This is because Skrein is set to play Ben Daimio, character that, in the original Hellboy comics, is Japanese-American.
This, of course, is far from the first time Hollywood has come under fire for whitewashing a character. Recently, the Ghost in the Shell adaptation came under fire for casting Scarlett Johansen, which we’ve discussed on this very website. The casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in Marvel’s Doctor Strange was also met with similar backlash. It’s clear that this is an ongoing problem for the movie industry that unfortunately isn’t slowing down any time soon. It also acts as another blow to fans looking for an accurate representation of the story and characters they love, and considering some of the skepticism due to the lack of Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman, that’s perhaps not something the people behind the Hellboy reboot want to encourage.
Comic book movie fans will no doubt recognize Skrein as the villainous Francis/Ajax from the Deadpool movie. The character of Daimio has the ability to transform into a jaguar when angered or in pain due to a run in with a cult that worshiped a Jaguar spirit. The film will star David Harbour as Hellboy, and it’s set to be directed by Neil Marshall. Titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, the film does not have a release date yet, however it is aiming to start filming in September and will shoot in the U.K. and Bulgaria.