Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family. It is our responsibility to make more decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity. It is my hope that one day these discussions will become less necessary and that we can help make equal representation in the Arts a reality. – Ed Skrein
Ed Skrein who was set to play Major Ben Daimo in the upcoming Hellboy reboot directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion) has stepped out due to claims of Hollywood whitewashing of ethnic characters. Skrein elaborated further on his departure by tweeting this Monday afternoon:
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
Skrein has mostly received praised from fans via Twitter from his controversial choice. Hellboy producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin discussed the controversy with Deadline, saying…
“Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. 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.”
Mike Mignola, the original writer for the Hellboy comics contributed to the conversation by tweeting this…
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) August 28, 2017
If you wanted to know a little more about the character Skrein was set to play, Ben Daimio was a member of the B.P.R.D. (The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) A former U.S. Marine who returned from the dead under mysterious circumstances, Ben joined the bureau in 2004 as a team commander. With years of military experience, Ben assisted the Bureau in planning and prosecuting its war against the supernatural threats it faces, all the while dealing with his own demons and the events surrounding his rebirth.
The Hellboy reboot currently features David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Hellboy, Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) as Nimue the Blood Queen, Ian Mcshane (Lovejoy) as Professor Broom, Abe Sapien will be in the film as well but has not currently been cast. And as of now, the role of Major Ben Daimo will have to be recast. With being rated R, the film shall feature more elements or horror rather than its predecessor film, directed by Guillermo del Toro. Hellboy begins filming next month and will hit theaters in 2018.