Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is stepping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the titular role of the upcoming Disney+ series Wonder Man (no relation to Wonder Woman as far as I know).
According to Deadline, Abdul-Mateen is set to lead the live action series after many rumors of other (white) actors who were up for the role. That said, we love to see a Black man landing a role which is typically portrayed as white in the comics.
The series come from graduates of the MCU University: Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton (he is also directing the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty) and Hawkeye co-producer Andrew Guest. Cretton is set to direct and serve as EP while Guest will be head writer. Ben Kingsley is also set to reprise his role as Trevor Slattery, who appeared in Shang-Chi as well as Iron Man 3.
Wonder Man was introduced in 1964 by writer Stan Lee and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby in the Marvel Comics in 1964 (The Avengers #9 to be exact). The story follows Simon Williams who assumes control of a munitions outfit after his father and industrialist Sanford Williams dies. As he leads the company, he realize its successes are limited when it comes into competition with Tony Stark’s Stark Industries. Simon gains ion-based superpowers, including super strength, while working under the villainous Baron Zemo (played by Daniel Brühl in the MCU). In the comics, Wonder Man is an adversary to the Avengers but then has a change of heart and joins the team.
Wonder Man is the founder of the L.A.-based West Coast Avengers which explains his celeb vibe — some may say he is arrogant. His signature colors are black and red and he wears a nice fit with a “W” on his chest along with red hued sunglasses. It’s gonna be interesting to see how the MCU folds in Wonder Man.
Abdul-Mateen II is currently getting rave reviews in the Broadway revival of Topdog/Underdog alongside Corey Hawkins. The actor is no stranger to the comic book world as he was featured in the DC TV/film world. He won an Emmy for his role as Dr. Manhattan in the HBO series adaptation of Watchmen and he also plays the villainous Black Manta in the Aquaman franchise which will release a sequel on Descember 25, 2023. Abdul-Mateen II is staying busy with a list of projects and his production company House Eleven10 including the limited series Scent of Burnt Flowers based on Blitz Bazawule’s novel as well as the Dwayne Johnson action thriller Emergency Contact. He is also set to produce the Amazon Studios pic I Helped Destroy People, alongside Michael B. Jordan.