Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is set to join the Disney+ series 'Wonder Man' as Simon Williams, who transforms into the titular superhero.It will be Abdul-Mateen's third major comic book character, after playing the villain Black Manta in 2018's 'Aquaman' and Dr. Manhattan in 2019 series 'Watchmen', for which he won an Emmy.
He's already set to reprise Black Manta in 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom', currently scheduled for Christmas 2023, reports 'Variety'.Filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed Marvel's 2021 feature 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings', is developing "Wonder Mana with head writer Andrew Guest, as part of Cretton's overall deal with Marvel Studios and Onyx Collective.
Cretton may direct as well, though he's got a crowded plate: He's already set to direct 2025's 'Avengers: The Kang Dynasty' and he's expected to helm the prospective (though unannounced) "Shang-Chi" sequel.
In the comic books, Williams is the son of a wealthy industrialist whose company, Williams Innovations, is run out of business due to competition from Stark Industries. In desperation, Simon turns to Baron Zemo, who gives Simon superpowers and directs him to infiltrate and then betray the Avengers.
Eventually, however, Simon joins the Avengers in earnest, and is even a founding member of the spin-off team, the West Coast Avengers. However, it's unclear how much or little of this storyline will make its way into the series.
It does seem likely, though, that William's comic history as an actor and stunt performer will come into play in the show, as Ben Kingsley is set to return as failed-actor-turned-reformed-villain Trevor Slattery, which he originated in 2013's 'Iron Man 3' and reprised in 'Shang-Chi'.