American actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been cast as the lead in the Disney+ series ‘Wonder Man’, where he will be playing the role of Simon Williams.
According to Variety, ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ director Destin Daniel Cretton is developing this project with head writer Andrew Guest.
In the comics, Simon is the son of a wealthy businessman whose company, Williams Innovations, is forced out of business owing to competition from Stark Industries.
A desperate Simon then seeks help from Baron Zemo, who grants him abilities and instructs him to infiltrate and betray the Avengers.
However, Simon eventually joins the Avengers and is even a founding member of the West Coast Avengers, a spin-off team. Currently, it’s uncertain how much of this plot will be included in the upcoming series.
It does seem likely that Simon’s comic history as an actor and stunt performer will be explored 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’.
This would be the third time that the actor will play a major comic book character as Mateen has previously portrayed the villain Black Manta in 2018’s ‘Aquaman’ and his Emmy-winning role as Dr Manhattan in HBO’s 2019 series ‘Watchmen’.
He’s already set to reprise Black Manta in filmmaker James Wan’s ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’, currently scheduled for Christmas 2023.
Apart from Mateen, the sequel will also star original cast members Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Temuera Morrison, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren. New stars to join the cast of the forthcoming action flick include Indya Moore and Jani Zhao.