Tag Archives: Ancient One

Yet More Hollywood Whitewashing: ‘Deadpool”s Ed Skrein Cast to Play Japanese American Character in Upcoming ‘Hellboy’ Reboot

August 21, 2017
‘Hellboy”s Major Ben Daimio (left) and actor Ed Skrein (right). (Photo credit: Dark Horse Comics / IMDB)

In the latest round of Hollywood whitewashing of Asian or Asian American characters, British actor Ed Skrein (The Transporter RefueledDeadpool) has been cast in an upcoming reboot of Dark Horse Comics’ Hellboy series. Skrein will play Major Ben Daimio, a Japanese American member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense with the power to shapeshift into a were-jaguar when under physical or psychological duress.

Skrein is not Japanese.

Daimio’s Japanese American heritage has influenced the character’s history and storylines. According to Wikipedia, Daimio is the grandson of the Crimson Lotus (also known as, Yumiko Daimio),  a Japanese spy active in New York City before and during World War II. When Ben Daimio’s relationship to the Crimson Lotus is revealed, his patriotism is questioned despite having been born in the United States, having been raised in a military family by his father, a war hero, and having served tours as a highly-decorated US Marine. Daimio’s body is possessed by a jaguar spirit when he is killed while on a mission in Bolivia, and he is brought back to life by it although his face still bears the scars of that mission.

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Hollywood’s “Strange” Erasure of Asian Characters | #AStrangeWhitewashing

May 29, 2015
Marvel's Ancient One
Marvel’s Ancient One

A mere week after I wrote a post swearing off of sharing fan news, the fandom insidiously pulled me back in.

This week, rumours began circulating that Tilda Swinton was in casting negotiations for Marvel’s upcoming Dr. Strange film starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role. Swinton is being considered for the role of the Ancient One, a nearly-immortal Tibetan sorcerer who becomes the young Dr. Strange’s mystic tutor and personal mentor.

That’s right. Tilda Swinton — a British actor whose Wikipedia article notes that she can trace her Anglo-Scot heritage back to the Middle Ages and who is about as far from “Tibetan” as one might get — may be cast to play a racebent and genderbent version of one of the few Asian characters of prominence in the Mystic Marvel world.

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