Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in 2021's 'Candyman.'

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in 2021's 'Candyman.'

Though he’s been best known for playing two DC Comics characters – Dr. Manhattan in the HBO series ‘Watchmen’ (to Emmy-winning effect) and Black Manta in ‘Aquaman’, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is headed across the comic book border to Marvel, signing on to star in ‘Wonder Man’, a new series in development at Disney+.

The series has ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ director Destin Daniel Cretton aboard as executive producer (and to direct at least some, if not all the episodes) and ‘Hawkeye’ veteran Andrew Guest serving as head writer.

In August, we learned that Ben Kingsley will also show up in the series as Trevor Slattery. The character, a bumbling actor originally hired to play a version of villain the Mandarin for ‘Iron Man 3’, further showed up in a Marvel One-Shot and then returned for Cretton’s ‘Shang-Chi’.

A Wonder Man primer for those who may not know the slightly obscure character: he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first arrived on Marvel’s pages in ‘Avengers #9’, which was published in 1964. The character’s real name is Simon Williams, son of a rich industrialist whose company runs into trouble after competition from Tony Stark.

Angered by how Stark has affected his family, Williams accepts an offer from Baron Zemo that grants him super strength and durability. He battles the Avengers several times, before joining them.

Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery in 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.'

Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery in 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.' Photo courtesy of Marvel.com.

His comics runs have also included stunts as a stunt man and actor, so Slattery’s addition to the show points towards something that could spoof Hollywood.

James Gunn had Nathan Fillion lined up to cameo as the character in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (in a series of film festival posters featuring Williams’ work) but that scene ultimately didn’t make the final cut of the movie.

Deadline’s story on Abdul-Mateen’s casting offers no details on how the MCU version of the character will adapt the comic book backstory, but we’d imagine there will be some changes along the way. Most notably, with Tony Stark dead, there will be little crossover on that front.

Though Stark tech successor Riri Williams, AKA Ironheart, will have been introduced by this point in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and her own Disney+ series, so perhaps there will be some overlap).

Abdul-Mateen is a busy, in demand actor who last showed up in Michael Bay’s ‘Ambulance’. He’ll be back as Black Manta for James Wan’s superhero sequel ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’, currently scheduled to swim into theaters on December 25th next year.

There are also a few other projects in the works, including TV drama ‘The Scent of Burnt Flowers’ and potential movie ‘I Helped Destroy People’, which he’ll also produce.

Marvel Comics' Wonder Man. Photo Courtesy of Marvel.com.

Marvel Comics' Wonder Man. Photo Courtesy of Marvel.com.