Don Cheadle is taking his vocal presence to The Wonder Years reboot, ensuring that we’ll get that perfect blend of gravitas and comedic timing in the new dramedy for ABC. Cheadle will voice the adult Dean Williams, who will be played by Elisha “EJ” Williams in the TV movie. The reboot of The Wonder Years will be set in the late 1960s, the same as the original. But instead, this reboot will follow the Williamses, a black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama. Psych’s Dulé Hill and Scandal‘s Saycon Sengbloh star as Dean’s parents, with Laura Kariuki as his older sister, Kim. Milan Ray will also join the cast as Dean’s smart and confident crush.
Naturally, Fred Savage had to be involved in the project in some way, as he will forever be tied to the cute little Kevin Arnold. Savage will join as director, with Saladin K. Patterson serving as the screenwriter. And after securing a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Andra Day in Billie Holiday vs. the United States, Lee Daniels will also join as producer. With this great creative team behind the remake, The Wonder Years will certainly bring the same beloved characteristics from the original to the screen, enhanced by the more topical racial relations as Patterson drew from his own experiences growing up in Alabama in the 60s.
ABC has seen success with TV movie reboots of classic series. In 2019, Norman Lear’s Live in Front of a Studio Audience won rave reviews with critics and audiences alike. The special was a combination of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Good Times. The cast was similarly packed, starring Woody Harrelson, Anthony Anderson, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Viola Davis and Tiffany Haddish. Cheadle’s addition to The Wonder Years solidifies ABC’s continuing commitment to making the most of their IP, as well as backing up that production with talented members in front and behind the camera.
Cheadle is a fantastic addition to the project, although we wish he could also play a part in front of the camera as well. He can most recently be seen making an appearance as his Marvel staple James “Rhodey” Rhodes aka War Machine, in the series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Cheadle will also make an appearance as Al-G Rhythm is another upcoming reboot, Space Jam: A New Legacy, as well as reteaming with his Ocean’s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh for his latest heist flick No Sudden Move. He also currently stars as the protagonist in Showtime’s Black Monday, an apt dark comedy that he will surely draw from for The Wonder Years.
There is no new information on the release date of The Wonder Years reboot. The original series is currently streaming on Hulu.