One thing I’ve really grown to love about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is there’s no such thing as a one-off character. Sure, some characters might only end up appearing in one thing. But even over a decade later, someone could still show up again. Just look at Tim Roth in She-Hulk. Especially look at Sir Ben Kingsley. After a fake-out appearance as “The Mandarin” in Iron Man 3 in 2013, it seemed unlikely his slovenly actor character Trevor Slattery would turn up again. Then he appeared—delightfully so—in last year’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Now, it seems, Sir Ben will return once again in the upcoming Wonder Man series.
The news comes from Variety who says Kingsley will reunite with Shang-Chi director and co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton. Cretton is one of the executive producers and co-creators of the Wonder Man series. We first learned about the show in June. Reports said that Wonder Man would be a Hollywood satire. Having Trevor Slattery in the cast seems a perfect way to make that satire more pronounced. What’s more of a slag on Hollywood than a terrorist organization hiring an actor to be its face?
In the comics, Simon Williams was a spoiled trust fund baby, heir to the company and fortune of Sandford Williams. His bad business decisions ran Williams Innovations into the ground, and Simon blamed the company’s biggest rival, Stark Industries. He accepted an offer from the villainous Baron Zemo to gain ionic powers in an experiment. These powers included super strength, invulnerability, and in later years, flight and energy projection. He gave himself the moniker of Wonder Man, because of course.
Wonder Man later parlayed his success as a superhero into a successful career as a movie star. Sort of like how Audie Murphy was a WWII hero who turned to making movies. We’ve already seen another superhero-turned-actor in the MCU, of course. Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo in Eternals is a big Bollywood star. Of course, Kingo is a prisoner of the Celestials currently so who knows if and when he’d show up in Wonder Man.
Another thing we don’t know is when Wonder Man might premiere. The show was not among Marvel’s Phase Five titles Kevin Feige announced at San Diego Comic-Con. Our bet, therefore, is that it’ll be one of the currently blank spots in Phase Six. This would put it alongside Fantastic Four, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. Cretton, we hasten to remind you, will direct The Kang Dynasty. Seems likely Phase Six will be a Cretton-heavy phase.
Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Instagram and Letterboxd.