Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is making the jump from DC to Marvel. Having appeared as Black Manta in Aquaman – and set to reprise his role in next year’s sequel – Abdul-Mateen II has now signed on to play the lead in Wonder Man, the latest MCU series in development for Disney+.
Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and Hawkeye co-producer Andrew Guest are working on the project. The Wonder Man character was created by Stan Lee, illustrated by Don Heck and Jack Kirby, and first introduced in Marvel Comics in 1964 with The Avengers #9.
Alias Simon Williams, he’s the son of industrialist Sanford Williams. Upon his father’s death, he assumes control of their ammunition business, but sees its successes limited when it comes into competition with Tony Stark’s Stark Industries. But Simon gains ion-based superpowers, including super strength, and establishes himself as an antagonist to The Avengers.
Later, his allegiances change and he decides to become part of the same superhero team. It’s unclear right now exactly what depiction of Wonder Man we will see, but he will likely be more protagonist than antagonist in this series.
The series will also see the return of Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery, who was introduced as The Mandarin in the Iron Man franchise, but retconned as a good guy in Shang-Chi.
Only those putting the time and effort into keeping up with the MCU’s many films and shows can tell you exactly where all this fits in to the wider plan, but Abdul-Mateen II is a great actor with plenty of superhero experience. In addition to his Aquaman role, he also won an Emmy for playing Dr. Manhattan in HBO’s Watchmen.
He’s also recently played Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections, and starred in Candyman, Ambulance, and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
His upcoming roles include FX series Scent of Burnt Flowers, Dwayne Johnson action film Emergency Contact, and Amazon film I Helped Destroy People.