The “Deadpool” actor shared the news in an open letter posted to his Instagram and Twitter, explaining why he chose to drop out of the project:
“It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voice in the Arts. I feel it is important to honour and respect that. There I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately,” Skrein wrote. “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 came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision,” Lionsgate said in a statement, according to Variety. “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.”
“Hellboy” comic book creator, Mike Mignola, chimed in on Twitter.
The reboot, directed by Neil Marshall and stars David Harbour as the new title hero, will begin production in October.