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How Producers Made Mistake of Whitewashing Hellboy

Daniel Dae Kim in Hellboy

Give Hellboy producer Lloyd Levin credit. He made a mistake and he moved quickly to correct it. Seven months later, he explains what happened.

Producers cast Ed Skrein to play Daimio, a Japanese American character in the comics.

“When we started talking about this and we started talking about Daimio, it was years ago and we had already established a story where Daimio was,” said Levin to the Collider. You know, the story takes place in the U.K. so we were creating Daimio as giving him an English background and we lost track of who he was in the comic books and we made a mistake… Ed was very very gracious and it was something we all felt we wanted to correct.”

An uproar ensued among comic fans almost as soon as the studio announced its casting decision. Skrein quickly backed out of the job.

One week later, Daniel Dae Kim accepted the role.

“We looked at a broad list when we said we gotta cast it more faithfully as the character was written as his ethnicity,” the producer said. “When we saw Daniel on the list, I think we went pretty much directly to him.”

Kim told Collider he didn’t even have to audition for the role.

“Neil had known of my work, I’d known of his work, it was just a question of whether our sensibilities fit together — and they do,” said Kim.

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