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‘Wonder Man’ MCU series eyes 'Watchmen' star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II for lead role

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II won an Emmy for his portrayal of Dr. Manhattan in HBO's Watchmen

By Vanessa Armstrong
Yahya Abdul Mateen II

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is moving from the DC Universe to Marvel. The actor, who won an Emmy for playing Dr. Manhattan in the HBO series Watchmen, will be the lead in the upcoming MCU series Wonder Man

According to Deadline, Abdul-Mateen will star in the MCU series as the titular Wonder Man, also known as Simon Williams, the son of a weapons magnate who had Stark Industries as their main competitor. In the comics, Williams’ origin story starts when he’s in jail for embezzlement (a move he made to try to save his company from competitors like Stark) and Baron Zemo offers to make him a guinea pig for a new procedure that gives him superhuman powers. The procedure works, and Simon/Wonder Man starts out seeking revenge against Stark and other superheroes — he has a change of heart, however, and eventually becomes one of the good guys. 

In the ‘80s, the comics reimagined Williams as one of the founders of the West Coast Avengers, and the character had a strong Hollywood vibe, given his regular job was as an actor and stuntman. 

We don’t have many details on the plot of the Disney+ series yet, so we don’t know which iteration of Williams/Wonder Man we’ll see in the MCU. We do know, however, that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton is on board to direct, with Community and Brooklyn Nine-Nine scribe Andrew Guest joining as head writer. We also know that Ben Kingsley’s MCU character — the struggling actor Trevor Slattery — will also be in the series after most recently appearing in Shang-Chi

While Abdul-Mateen isn’t a stranger to genre films — in addition to his role on Watchmen he also plays David Kane aka Black Manta in Aquaman and the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections, and stars in films like Nia DaCosta’s Candyman and the upcoming Mad Max spinoff, Furiosa — this will be his first foray into Marvel territory.

No news yet on when Wonder Man will premiere on Disney+.

Looking for more superhero action? X-Men: First Class is now streaming on Peacock