Don Cheadle will serve as the narrator for ABC’s reboot of The Wonder Years. Deadline reports that Cheadle has been tapped to play the adult Dean Williams, the older version of the reboot’s lead character played by Elisha “EJ” Williams. Cheadle’s role is similar to Daniel Stern voicing the adult Kevin Arnold as the narrator of the original version of The Wonder Years.
Fred Savage, who played Kevin Arnold in the original series, will direct The Wonder Years reboot, which is written by Saladin Patterson. Savage and Patterson also executive produce alongside Lee Daniels and Marc Velez via Lee Daniels Entertainment. Original series co-creator Neal Marlens serves as a consultant.
The reboot will be set in the same era as the original series, following the Williamses – a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama – during the late 1960s. Dean Williams (Elisha “EJ” Williams, Henry Danger) stars as Dean Williams, aka the “new Kevin Arnold,” the family’s teenage son. Dulé Hill (Psych) and Saycon Sengbloh (In the Dark) also star as Dean’s parents with Laura Kariuki (Black Lightning) playing the boy’s teenage sister, Kim Williams.
Earlier this month, Savage personally informed Williams that he had been cast as Dean Williams, and the young actor’s reaction was captured on video. Passing the torch to the new face of The Wonder Years, Savage told Williams, “We got you on Zoom because we wanted to welcome you to the family, and tell you that it’s your turn to be the star of The Wonder Years.
Patterson added: “It’s kind of like the passing of the torch, right? From one generation of The Wonder Years to another one. I cannot tell you how blessed we are that you are going to be part of this one.”
An accomplished actor, Don Cheadle has received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his starring role in the Showtime comedy series Black Monday. He’ll be back in the acclaimed show’s third season on May 23. Cheadle is also widely known for his role as Colonel James Rhodes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a role he’ll be reprising in the Disney+ series Armor Wars. This summer, Cheadle will return to the big screen alongside NBA legend LeBron James in the upcoming sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy, which releases on July 16.
The first incarnation of The Wonder Years is widely considered to be one of the most iconic television shows of all time. Created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black, the series starred Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Olivia d’Abo, Jason Hervey, Danica McKellar, Josh Saviano, and Daniel Stern as the narrator. The show won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and Savage was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor.
It remains to be seen if the new version of The Wonder Years will be as successful as the original version, but it certainly helps to have the original star and co-creator involved. As of now, it’s unclear when the show would premiere on ABC. This news comes to us from Deadline.
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