Ben Kingsley is poised to reprise the role of Trevor Slattery in the upcoming Wonder Man series from Marvel Studios at Disney+, variety has learned exclusively from sources.
The show was first revealed to be in the works back in June. It will focus on the Marvel character Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man. In the comics, Williams is the son of a wealthy industrialist whose company falls on hard times due to competition from Tony Stark’s Stark Industries. Williams then accepts an offer from villain Baron Zemo that gives him ionic superpowers including super strength and durability. After fighting the Avengers several times, Wonder Man ultimately joined their ranks.
Kingsley returning as Slattery lends credence to reports that the show is intended to be a Hollywood satire, as it has been established that Slattery is a failed actor and Wonder Man has been an actor and a stuntman in the comics. Exactly how Kingsley would factor into the plot of the series and how many episodes he would appear in is being kept under wraps, but sources say he will play a major role.
Reps for Kingsley declined to comment. Marvel Studios does not comment on projects in development.
Kingsley first portrayed Slattery in “Iron Man 3.” In that film, Slattery has been hired to portray a terrorist leader known as The Mandarin, but his true identity is revealed in the end and he is arrested. He then appeared in the short film “All Hail the King,” which shows Slattery in prison before he is broken out by someone working for the real Mandarin. Most recently, Kingsley played Slattery in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” He was taken prisoner by The Mandarin, Shang-Chi’s father Xu Wenwu, who kept him alive as a sort of court jester. Shang-Chi and his friends eventually help him escape and he in turn helps them defeat Wenwu.
The role reunites Kingsley with Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed and co-wrote “Shang-Chi” and will serve as an executive producer and co-creator on the Wonder Man series.
Kingsley is one of the most celebrated actors of modern times, known for roles in films like “Gandhi,” “Sexy Beast,” “House of Sand and Fog,” “Bugsy,” and “Schindler’s List.” He earned Academy Award nominations for the first four of the aforementioned films, winning the award for best actor for “Gandhi.” He is also a four-time Emmy nominee and has starred in recent shows like the Epix neo-noir series “Perpetual Grace Ltd.” and the Netflix miniseries version of “Watership Down.”
Kingsley is repped by CAA, Independent Talent Group, and Goodman Genow.
Andrew Guest will serve as head writer on the Wonder Man show. Cretton will executive produce and possibly direct on the series in addition to serving as co-creator with Guest. Cretton is currently under an overall deal with Marvel Studios and Onyx Collective, the announcement of which coincided with the announcement that Cretton would return to direct and write the sequel to “Shang-Chi.”