EXCLUSIVE: The Wonder Years reboot has found its narrator. Don Cheadle has been tapped to play adult Dean Williams in ABC’s single-camera pilot from Saladin Patterson, the original series’ Fred Savage, and Lee Daniels.
Written by Patterson and directed by Savage, the reboot of the classic 1980s family comedy-drama is set in the same era as the original. It looks at how the Williamses, a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, AL, in the turbulent late 1960s made sure it was the Wonder Years for them too.
The new Wonder Years centers on the family’s teenage son Dean Williams (Elisha “EJ” Williams), much like the original series focused on Kevin Arnold (Savage). Both iterations are narrated by adult versions of the lead character. Cheadle is taking on adult Dean while Daniel Stern narrated the original as adult Kevin.
2021 ABC Pilots & Series Orders
Dulé Hill and Saycon Sengbloh star as Dean’s parents. Laura Kariuki is Kim Williams, Dean’s teenage sister. Patterson and Savage executive produce along with Daniels and Marc Velez via Lee Daniels Entertainment. The original series’ co-creator Neal Marlens serves as a consultant. 20th Television is the studio.
Cheadle has received two Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for his starring role in the Showtime comedy series Black Monday, which returns for Season 3 on May 23. He also earned four consecutive Emmy noms for his starring role in Showtime’s House of Lies, among 10 total career noms.
This summer Cheadle stars alongside Lebron James in the Warner Bros. film Space Jam: A New Legacy and in the HBO Max film No Sudden Move for director Stephen Soderbergh. Additionally, he will reprise his MCU role of Colonel James Rhodes in the Disney+ series Armor Wars. Cheadle is repped by UTA.
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