The Marvel Cinematic Universe has reportedly found its Simon Williams / Wonder Man. On Monday, reports confirmed that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is in talks to portray the titular character in an upcoming Wonder Man Disney+ series. Abdul-Mateen II is no stranger to the superhero space, portraying Black Manta in both Aquaman and the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Doctor Manhattan in the recent Watchmen television series. His filmography also includes The Get Down, Candyman, and Ambulance.
Wonder Man is a collaboration between Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty director Destin Daniel Cretton and Brooklyn Nine-Nine writer Andrew Guest. It will see Ben Kingsley reprise his role as Trevor Slattery, and reports have indicated that it could be a satire of Hollywood within the MCU.
Who is Marvel's Wonder Man?
Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Don Heck in 1964's Avengers #9, Wonder Man was a villain-turned-hero with a variety of super powers, including iconic energy manipulation, teleportation, and strength. The character is possibly best known for being a founding member of the West Coast Avengers, which lead to him working as an actor and stuntman in Hollywood.
In the comics, Wonder Man also has a unique connection to both Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch and The Vision, with him essentially being like a brother to the android. He also became a love interest of Wanda's following Vision's dismantling during the "Vision Quest" storyline (which, coincidentally, Marvel is also rumored to be developing a Disney+ series about).
Has Wonder Man appeared in the MCU?
Wonder Man was briefly poised to cameo in 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with writer-director James Gunn casting Nathan Fillion in the role. Fillion's Wonder Man was supposed to briefly appear in a series of in-universe movie posters during a sequence set on Earth, but it was ultimately cut from the film.
"I really do love the character of Simon Williams/Wonder Man in the comics – a sometimes douchey actor/superhero – and could see Nathan clearly in that role (not because he's a douchebag but because he's great at playing one)," Gunn shared on his Facebook page at the time. "But, of course, in a movie set 99.9% in space I didn't really have a place for him. So in a small flash to earth I decided to put a theater playing a 'Simon Williams Film Festival,' with six Simon Williams movie posters outside. Obviously, from the posters, he's had a run of B movies. Most of them in themselves are Easter eggs of some sort or another. Unfortunately, the small section of the scene where they appeared slowed down the movie and I had to cut the Easter eggs from the film (along with storefronts named after comic book luminaries Starlin, Mantlos, Annett and others)," he continued. "Equally a bummer was that a lot of people took photos of these posters on the day so suddenly every fan site was reporting that Nathan was playing Wonder Man in he movie. He was even the third-billed actor on IMDB!"
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