Ed Skrein issued a statement on Instagram on Tuesday that he has exited the “Hellboy” reboot following public outcry. Skrien was set to play Major Ben Daimio — an Asian character in the “Hellboy” graphic novels. Skrien casting ignited conversations about whitewashing that have long plagued Hollywood.
The latest installment in the franchise is entitled “Hellboy” thought it was originally going to be called, “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen” The project got off to a rocky start after original director Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Perlman stated they wouldn’t be taking part. Neil Marshall and “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour are the director-actor duo in charge this time. They join Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm. Mila Jovovich as the film’s primary antagonist, Nimue the Blood Queen & Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan.
Hollywood has long bee plagued with issues of whitewashing. Typically it’s when white actors have been cast for roles originally portrayed by people of Asian descent. Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a Japanese human-cyborg in “Ghost in the Shell” caused an uproar earlier this year.
“Hellboy” is expected to be released in 2018.