Don Cheadle is about to take a walk down memory lane. The Avengers: Endgame star has been set as the narrator for ABC’s reboot of The Wonder Years, taking on the role of adult Dean Williams in ABC’s single-camera pilot.
Deadline reports that Cheadle has been tapped to narrate ABC’s The Wonder Years reboot pilot, playing the adult Dean Williams in the new take on the classic family comedy-drama.
In a reinvention of the ’80s series, The Wonder Years reboot follows the Williamses, “a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, AL, in the turbulent late 1960s [that] made sure it was the Wonder Years for them too.”
The family’s teenage son Dean Williams (Elisha “EJ” Williams) will be the central character of The Wonder Years reboot, much like how the original series focused on Kevin Arnold, played by Fred Savage. Both iterations of the series are narrated by the adult versions of the lead character, with Cheadle taking on the part originally played by Daniel Stern, who narrated the original as adult Kevin.
Dulé Hill and Saycon Sengbloh star as Dean’s parents. Laura Kariuki is Kim Williams, Dean’s teenage sister.
Saladin K. Patterson, who wrote for The Big Bang Theory, Dave, and Two and a Half Men, writes the pilot script, while Empire co-creator Lee Daniels will executive produce the new version alongside Fred Savage, who starred in the original series. Original series co-creator Neal Marlens is on board as a consultant.
While a Wonder Years reboot set around a Black family during the 1960s — by no means a “wondrous” time for Black Americans, who faced intense racial discrimination and persecution amid the Civil Rights movement — still seems like an unusual choice for an ABC comedy-drama, which feels unlikely to delve into the truly heinous prejudice that Black people faced at the time. But Cheadle is a pretty big get for The Wonder Years, with the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated star likely to give some star power to the series beyond its name recognition. And it’s a role that doesn’t require too much of a commitment for the ever-busy Cheadle, with the actor currently starring in the Showtime comedy series Black Monday, and making appearances in films like Space Jam: A New Legacy and Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move. He’s also set to reprise his role as Colonel James Rhodes in Marvel’s Disney+ series Armor Wars.
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