Wonder Man Is Heading To The MCU, And An A+ DC Star Has Been Cast In The Role

While Nathan Fillion never ended up appearing as Simon Williams, a.k.a Wonder Man, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, plans are now in motion for the character to spotlighted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe through his own project. However, instead of the star of ABC’s The Rookie returning to play Simon, an A+ DC star has instead been cast in the role. Welcome to the MCU, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II!

Four months after it was revealed that a live-action Wonder Man show is in development for Disney+, Deadline is reporting that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will bring Simon Williams to life in the series. Abdul-Mateen has previously contributed to the comic book media space by playing Black Manta in Aquaman and Cal Abar, later revealed to be Doctor Manhattan, in HBO’s Watchmen, which netted him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. His other major credits include Us, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Candyman, The Matrix Resurrections and Ambulance.

Given how popular Marvel movies and DC movies are nowadays, Yahyah Abdul-Mateen II is just the latest actor to work within both franchises. Before we see the actor as Wonder Man, though, he’s reprising Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which was recently pushed back to December 2023. Because Abdul-Mateen will soon find himself operating within the MCU, does this mean that Black Manta’s story in the Aquaman sequel ends on a.. shall we say, permanent note, or could he return for the currently-hypothetical Aquaman 3? It will be a long time until that mystery is solved.

As far as Wonder Man is concerned, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is the second actor to be cast in the show that will be exclusive to Disney+ subscribers, just like the other small screen offerings direct from Marvel Studios. Ben Kingsley is also on deck to reprise Trevor Slattery, who was introduced in Iron Man 3 as the actor AIM hired to play its faux Mandarin, and we reunited with him last year in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Behind the scenes, Shang-Chi’s Destin Daniel Cretton (who’s also directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty) is putting together Wonder Man with Hawkeye’s Andrew Guest, with Cretton directing and executive producing, and Guest being the head writer.

In the comics, Simon Williams was initially introduced as a supervillain who was transformed into an ion-powered being by the Masters of Evil to infiltrate the Avengers and exact revenge on Tony Stark, whom he believed was responsible for him being caught for embezzling funds from his own munitions company. However, years later he reformed and joined Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, as well as found a second source of fame through acting. We’ll have to wait and see how much of Simon’s comic book backstory will be squeezed into Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s version, but just like with Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk, it’s easy enough to envision him joining the MCU’s Avengers after debuting on Disney+.

Ahead of Wonder Man, along with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will be seen in projects like the FX limited series Scent of Burnt Flowers, the Amazon Studios movie I Helped Destroy People (which he’s producing alongside Michael B. Jordan) and the Dwayne Johnson-led action thriller Emergency Contact. MCU fans can keep occupied until then by watching the Marvel movies in order, as well as looking through our guides covering upcoming Marvel movies and upcoming Marvel TV shows.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.