It’s been a good few years for Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk, who after a stellar stint with crime dramas, action flicks, and more, is now set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to The Illuminerdi, Marvel Studios has called upon Odenkirk to play what they call a ‘special role’ in the upcoming Wonder Man TV series — which has already set Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II to play the titular character.
While Odenkirk’s MCU deal hasn’t been officially announced, wild theories have been brought up online, with plenty of speculation on the hit actor’s next big project after the much-awaited Better Call finale.
At this point, the MCU has fractured into a warped mess of spacetime, with multiple timelines, universes, crisis possibilities, and more — all ripe for the introduction of an unusual hero from Marvel’s massive 1980s roster.
Before becoming Wonder Man, Simon Williams was the son of an industrialist who ran a successful arms factory — a direct competitor to Stark Industries. Simon eventually went to prison for embezzlement after inheriting the company, before being broken out by a character named Amora the Enchantress.
He then teams up with Baron Zemo, who we last saw in The Falcon, and the Winter Soldier, who conducts a series of experiments on Simon. The result is a bevy of superpowers with one catch — if Simon doesn’t take a weekly serum dose from Zemo… he dies.
Immensely powerful and with some interesting lore behind him, Simon’s story will shape a lot of future events. What we’re interested in, however, is the fact that he’s actually a Hollywood personality, as a famous stuntman and actor — and that’s where Odenkirk comes in.
Neal Saroyan made his debut in the first issue of Wonder Man’s 1991 ongoing series. The whole point of the series was to sort of satirize 1990s Hollywood and Neal was one of the key characters to be used for making fun of the excesses of Hollywood — as a sleazy, secretly superpowered agent who represented Simon, and often resorted to villainous acts to further his own gains.
Seriously, look at the comparison above — the resemblance is uncanny. It’s also a very interesting chance to watch Odenkirk play a psychic, as Saroyan actually has odd psychic powers in the comics.
While Wonder Man is a pretty underappreciated character in the comics, it’ll be interesting to see what an actor as skilled as Odenkirk could bring to the role — and perhaps the Studio has a few exciting things up their sleeves for us.
Lead Image: Marvel Comics/Lonely Island Classics