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‘Hellboy’ Reboot Casts Ed Skrein as Asian Character In the Latest Case of Hollywood Whitewashing

The white British actor has been cast as Major Ben Daimio, who is Japanese American in the comic books.

Ed Skrein deadpool hellboy

Ed Skrein.

Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock

Why is it always the comic book adaptations that have the hardest time casting actors of color as characters of color? From “Ghost in the Shell,” to “Doctor Strange,” Hollywood studios just don’t seem to understand that honoring source material includes casting actors of color — especially when the role calls for it. The forthcoming “Hellboy” reboot is just the latest example, as white British actor Ed Skrein (“Deadpool”) joins the cast as Major Ben Daimio, who is Japanese American in the comics.

The third movie in the growing franchise is titled “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen,” and will be directed by “Game of Thrones” helmer Neil Marshall. David Harbour has signed on for the titular role; the cast also includes Ian McShane as the superhero’s adoptive father and Milla Jovovich as the evil villainess. Guillermo del Toro directed the first two movies, “Hellboy” and “Hellboy II: The Rotten Army,” which were both praised for imaginative visuals and endearing characters.

Fans of the first two films will already be on guard knowing del Toro is not behind the camera, as well as with actor Ron Perlman out as the title character. Skrein’s casting may endear the movie to “Deadpool” fans, but it may alienate other potential audiences.

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