The next Marvel super hero headed to Disney Plus for a live-action series is Wonder Man, a character who dates back to the earliest days of the Avengers, gaining prominence in the 1980s as a founding member of the hero group’s Los Angeles division.
The Hollywood Reporter said Thursday that Destin Daniel Cretton, director of 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is attached to the project, with Andrew Guest (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community) aboard as head writer. THR speculated that filming could begin next year.
Wonder Man, real name Simon Williams, first appeared in Avengers #9 of August, 1964. Originally the character was an industrialist rival to Tony Stark, and was recruited by Baron Zemo to the early supervillain group Masters of Evil. Zemo gave Williams “ionic energy” powers that include superhuman strength, stamina, and invulnerability, and flight through the use of a jetpack. He turned hero soon after his brief affiliation with Zemo’s group.
Wonder Man’s identity is publicly known; Williams is fabulously wealthy, and he supplements his lifestyle by working as a Hollywood stuntman. Both character traits seem like areas a TV show would explore.
The character was mostly dormant from the mid-1960s until the late 1970s; Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee implied that DC Comics had threatened to sue over copyright confusion with Wonder Woman. But Wonder Man was revived and joined the Avengers, later forming the West Coast Avengers with Hawkeye in 1984.