We have learned that James Ponsoldt is in talks to direct episodes of Marvel Studios’ Wonder Man series for Disney+, with the aim to begin production by the end of March 2023.
James Ponsoldt will be helming an unspecified amount of episodes for Marvel Studios’ Wonder Man, presumably sharing directing duties with Destin Daniel Cretton. Deadline previously reported that Cretton is attached to Wonder Man as a director and executive producer under his first-look deal with Marvel Studios. Whether Cretton does direct is likely dependent on his schedule, which within the Marvel realm, is fairly filled as he’s currently attached to helm the sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as well as the highly-anticipated next Avengers film in 2025, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
Meanwhile, Destin Daniel Cretton has another Disney+ original on the way with the live-action series adaption of American Born Chinese. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu will all star in their first project together since the 11x Oscar-nominated sensation Everything Everywhere All at Once. For American Born Chinese, Cretton is listed as an executive producer as well as the director of the pilot episode. It can be assumed that this will perhaps be the path he chooses with Marvel Studios’ Wonder Man as well.
James Ponsoldt is seen as a highly regarded director, both in film and television. His breakout film The Spectacular Now, starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, received the Grand Jury Prize and Special Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and would go on to be named one of the Best Independent films of that year by the National Board of Review. His next feature, The End of the Tour, may have not received as much awards attention but did reap huge critical acclaim with a 92% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
James Ponsoldt’s most recent film – 2017’s The Circle starring Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and John Boyega – was critically panned and was seen as a box office flop. Although his latest major film may have been negatively received, Ponsoldt has seen success from his endeavors on television, starting with directing the pilot and subsequent episodes of Sorry For Your Loss, a Facebook Watch series starring Elizabeth Olsen and Kelly Marie Tran that received huge audience appeal upon the show’s release.
Furthermore, James Ponsoldt’s recent creative efforts could result in Apple TV+’s next hit as he served as a director and executive producer on Shrinking. The Apple TV+ comedy-drama from Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence follows a grieving therapist who starts to tell his clients exactly what he thinks, and in ignoring his training and ethics, he finds himself making huge changes to people’s lives – including his own. Led by Harrison Ford and Jason Segel, Shrinking just premiered on AppleTV+ with a positive response from critics and audiences alike, as seen with an 81% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes as well as an 82% audience approval rating.
Wonder Man is yet to be formally announced by Marvel Studios, but the series is tracking to begin production this March as casting finalizes the supporting cast. Aquaman and Watchmen (2019) star Yahya Abdul-Mateen will be taking on the titular hero role, who made his Marvel Comics debut in The Avengers #9 in October 1964 from writer Stan Lee and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. Hollywood actor Simon Williams/Wonder Man was initially introduced as a supervillain imbued with “ionic” energy. After fighting the Avengers, Williams was reborn as a superhero and joined the team. The character has since been featured in popular animated Marvel shows and video games. Also said to be starring in Wonder Man is Sir Ben Kingsley, reprising his role as Trevor Slattery who initially appeared as a controversial character in Iron Man 3 and was then reintroduced by Destin Daniel Cretton in Shang-Chi.
Andrew Guest will be serving as head writer on Marvel Studios’ Wonder Man. Guest has previously worked within Marvel Studios as a consulting producer on Hawkeye but his writing career stretches over serving in various writer’s rooms and penning episodes of hit shows like 30 Rock, Community, Suburgatory, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. With Wonder Man aiming to begin production in late March, it can be assumed that this latest Disney+ original series could be receiving a release date within the Spring or Summer of 2024, however, only time will tell. In the meantime, as fans wait to see director James Ponsoldt’s work on Wonder Man, they can check out the adaptation of Daisy Jones & The Six which Ponsoldt serves as a director and executive producer. The miniseries premieres on March 3 only on Amazon Prime Video.