Marvel Studios casts Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the lead of Wonder Man, a new Disney+ series. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded significantly over the last few years thanks to Disney’s streaming service. On top of giving supporting characters a chance to lead solo projects, Marvel Studios has also used Disney+ to give new heroes like Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk solo shows from the beginning. It is well known that there are plans for many other MCU Disney+ shows focused on yet-to-be-introduced heroes, such as Nova.
The character of Simon Williams has nearly appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe several times before. It was reported earlier this year that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton was developing a Wonder Man series that would bring him to the franchise. Since the show’s development became known, it has been revealed that the series could be a Hollywood satire. The idea gained more credence following reports that Ben Kingsley would return as Trevor Slattery in Wonder Man.
As shared by Deadline, Marvel Studios has now cast Aquaman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II to play Wonder Man in the upcoming MCU series. Abdul-Mateen II joins the MCU after several DC roles, including Doctor Manhattan in HBO’s Watchmen and multiple appearances as Black Manta in the Aquaman franchise. This includes an upcoming return as Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. He also recently starred in Nia DaCosta’s Candyman sequel, Michael Bay’s action film Ambulance, and as a young Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections.
Marvel’s decision to cast Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Wonder Man is a good sign for his MCU future. Whereas the actor was less established when he joined DC as Black Manta and a secondary villain, Abdul-Mateen II is now fairly popular and able to take on major roles. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Wonder Man casting is a big sign of how Marvel plans to incorporate the character heavily into future MCU projects. This will begin with the leading role in Wonder Man, but there are many other projects where he can play a role going forward.
Wonder Man has connections to the Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Baron Zemo, and more in the comics. This could allow Yahya Abdul-Mateen II to appear in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Avengers: Secret Wars after his MCU debut. It also would not be surprising to see Wonder Man factor into Shang-Chi 2‘s story since Destin Daniel Cretton is involved in bringing the character to live-action for the first time. In any case, Wonder Man will be the start of a potentially lengthy appearance for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the MCU.
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