Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has officially signed on to play Wonder Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will star in the upcoming Disney+ series on the character.
Deadline reports that the Candyman star will lead the series, which is in development with Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton and Hawkeye co-producer Andrew Guest. Cretton will direct the series and serve as executive producer, while Guest will serve as the series’ head writer.
Along with Abdul-Mateen, Ben Kingsley will also star in his recurring role as Trevor Slattery.
The character was originally known as the villain The Mandarin, until it was revealed he was simply an actor playing a role (Tony Leung played the supervillain Slattery was impersonating in Shang-Chi).
Wonder Man debuted in 1964 as Simon Williams, the son of a powerful industrialist who takes control of his father's company after he dies.
Simon is in direct competition with Stark Industries and, through a series of events, Williams becomes a superhero thanks to becoming a guinea pig for experiments executed by Baron Zemo. Wonder Man is initially a villain like Zemo, but ultimately becomes a superhero and joins the Avengers.
The introduction of Wonder Man has led fans online to speculate if this means that Wanda Maximoff will make a return.
In the comics, Wonder Man and Wanda, also known as the Scarlet Witch, develop a relationship, complicated in part by the fact that Wonder Man’s brain patterns were used to create Vision. Since Vision is created an entirely different way in the MCU, it remains to be seen how Wonder Man and Wanda’s relationship come to be, if at all, in the MCU canon.
This marks the third superhero Abdul-Mateen has played in film and television.
In HBO’s Watchmen series, Abdul-Mateen played Dr. Manhattan. He also played Black Manta in DCEU film Aquaman. He is currently set to reprise the character for the sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, coming out next year. With his superhero roles, Abdul-Mateen is one of the few actors joining Marvel who has already had an extensive part in the DCEU.