Hawaii Five-0: Lost Actor Cast as “Undead” in CBS Remake

Daniel Dae KimIt looks like at least one member of the Lost cast won’t be leaving Hawaii.

Daniel Dae Kim (Jin on Lost) is the first actor to be cast in CBS’ new version of Hawaii Five-0. He’ll be playing Detective Chin Ho Kelly, a role that was played in the original series by Kam Fong.

The series’ lead role of Detective Steve McGarrett hasn’t been cast yet but Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight, Three Rivers) is reportedly still in talks for the role.

The new Hawaii Five-0 is being helmed by Fringe co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and CSI: NY showrunner/executive producer Peter Lenkov.

Kurtzman and Orci have a “once-removed” connection with Kim’s ABC series via co-creator JJ Abrams. They co-created Fringe with Abrams and have collaborated with him on multiple projects like the recent Star Trek movie and Mission Impossible III.

Are you more likely to sample the show with Kim on it?

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But the Lost connection doesn’t stop there. On Lost, characters seem to return from the dead on a regular basis. In the new Hawaii Five-0, Kim will be playing a character who returned from the dead — sort of.

The original Hawaii Five-0 ran for 12 seasons, from 1968 until 1980. After having been a series regular for 10 seasons, Fong decided to leave the series because he felt the scripts had grown static. As a result, Detective Chin Ho Kelly was murdered in episode 238, called “A Death in the Family.”

Many years later, in 1997, veteran producer Stephen J. Cannell was hired by CBS to produce a new Hawaii Five-0 series. The pilot stars Gary Busey in the lead role as a new detective and reunites original castmembers James MacArthur (“Danno”), Kono (Zulu), Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) — and Kam Fong as Chin Ho Kelly!

It seems that Cannell didn’t know a lot about the series and didn’t realize that Chin Ho had been killed off in the 10th season. The actors didn’t want to deprive Fong of the work so they didn’t say anything. By the time Cannell realized his mistake, filming had been completed and it would have been impossible to edit Fong out of the footage. Cannell showed the pilot to CBS executives, hoping that they hadn’t seen the episode with Chin Ho’s murder either.

Ultimately, the pilot was deemed unairable and Busey needed surgery for a brain tumor, a complication that would have delayed production for months anyway.

There’s been no indication that the new version of Chin Ho will have his predecessor’s power to return from the dead but, based on Kim’s time on the Lost island, you never know.

What do you think? Is Daniel Dae Kim a good choice to play Chin Ho? Are you more likely to watch with him on the show?

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