Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been tapped to play Marvel’s Wonder Man. The Emmy-winning actor is no stranger to superhero roles, as he has previously portrayed Black Manta. Marvel’s upcoming series will be developed for Disney+.
The actor also starred in HBO’s Watchmen as Dr. Manhattan, where he won the accolade, and is part of movies such as Candyman, The Matrix Resurrection, and Ambulance.
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Who Is Marvel’s Wonder Man?
Also known as Simon Williams, Wonder Man was created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Don Heck in 1964. The character is not as famous as the other members of the Avengers but was once part of the team. He was introduced as an antagonist but reformed into a key character who later joined forces with Earth’s mightiest heroes.
Williams became the founding member of the West Coast Avengers and is famous for his job as an actor-stuntman. The creators also developed his story with close ties to Vision and Scarlet Witch.
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The upcoming MCU series will be helmed by Hawkeye producer Andrew Guest and Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton. Fans will also recognize the fake Mandarin guy from Iron Man, Trevor Slattery (played by Ben Kingsley). So far, there is no definite schedule for the series premiere.
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Fans Criticize Casting For Swapping Race
This is another case of race swapping in Marvel’s casting of characters. The hero is originally white in the comics, and the studio chose to hire Abdul-Mateen II for the role, akin to Samuel L. Jackson’s casting for Nick Fury.
Many fans voiced their opinions regarding the race swap. Check out their tweets below:
I only want to see the original 616 characterizations of Wonder Man.
Hypocrites argue that it's the MCU and it's not meant to be the same. And yet many of the superheroes in the MCU look like their original 616 counterparts.
There is NO reason to race swap Simon Williams. https://t.co/TpCMuxtzmj pic.twitter.com/BtDpedaef3
— Magnetic Eye (@Magnetic__Eye) November 1, 2022
Wonder Man is white…. Are they planning on white facing him because they really didn’t need to race swap Wonder Man when there was so many other Avengers he could have played.
— Blvck (@blvck_1ne) November 1, 2022
Race swap is bad for actual black characters, not for this character. While they "blackfaced" Wonder Man they also whitewhashed Thunderball for no reason. And this cast is such a waste of a great actor who could be doing an actual black character.
— Louis Anthony (@AnthonyL1148) November 1, 2022
They can call him Wonder Man in name even though he isn’t. Wonder Man isn’t black. These race swap practices are done in bad faith, and out of spite. First Mexican Namor, and now this? The virtue signaling and projecting is becoming more and more laughable. pic.twitter.com/qQuojBpzcA
— Kubanito (@Kubanito) October 31, 2022
Wtf?! They intend to race swap Wonder Man. I am so sick of this bullshit. #WonderMan #Comics https://t.co/MSMHkyfE1r
— CharlesNotes (@Charles_Notes) November 1, 2022
There has been fan casting going on for the said role even before the official announcement. Nathan Fillion was a strong contender, and even Henry Cavill and Keanu Reeves were also fan favorites.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter