This would be the third time that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will play a major comic book character as the actor 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.
American actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been cast to star 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, Williams 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 William’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.