Marvel Studios has found their Wonder Man in Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Abdul-Mateen II joins Ben Kingsley in the cast, who was also recently confirmed as reprising the role of Trevor Slattery for the series. Abdul-Mateen II is best known for other work in the superhero genre such as his Emmy Award winning performance in HBO’s Watchmen, as well as his role as Black Manta in Aquaman — a role he will reprise in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton teams up with Andrew Guest, a writer-producer on prolific comedies such as 30 Rock and Community, to bring the live-action series featuring the longtime Marvel character to fruition. Guest will serve as head writer of the series, while Cretton will executive produce and possibly direct episodes. The pair will also act as co-creators for the series.
The series is believed to be a Hollywood satire, which will certainly play into the more comedic side of superhero stories that Marvel Studios seems to be embracing with recent entries such as Thor: Love and Thunder and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Wonder Man has arguably one of the most convoluted histories for a Marvel Comics character, so it will certainly be interesting to see which route the studio decides to take the character. Based on the “Hollywood satire” theme one could safely assume that the series will follow Simon’s time on the West Coast, most notably Hollywood where he’s even taken on jobs as a stunt man, which the franchise has yet to dive into fully.
Here’s a brief, condensed version of events: Wonder Man was first introduced in The Avengers #9 in October 1964 as a villain with an origin story that would fit flawlessly with the current MCU timeline — Wonder Man is initially a villain who takes on the Avengers due to his personal hatred of none-other than Tony Stark after being imbued by ionic powers by Baron Zemo. While Wonder Man is defeated (read: killed) by the Avengers in this first appearance, Ant-Man downloads his brain to a computer, which the team later uses to resurrect the man fully in The Avengers #160, June 1977. It is at this time that Wonder Man becomes a full-time member of the Avengers, seeing the error of his former way. He would later go on to be a founding member of the West Coast Avengers.
The whole brain downloading situation comes up in a variety of ways throughout Marvel Comics history, particularly when Ultron uses the downloaded brain file of Wonder Man for the android that becomes Vision. This fact leads to many situations in the future — as Wonder Man and Vision contain the same memories and brain waves, they are often either brought together or fighting one another. Such is the case particularly when Simon develops feelings for Wanda Maximoff — but there could be many different directions to take the character given both of these other characters have long-established MCU histories. For now, fans will have to wait to see what exactly the live-action future of Wonder Man holds.
This news was first reported by Deadline.
Wonder Man does not currently have a confirmed release window. Stay tuned with Nerds & Beyond for more updates.