Nathan Fillion, a fan favorite for his roles in Firefly and Castle, will be appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, according to Geek & Sundry. Fillion will be playing Simon Williams, the actor and sometime Avenger, code-named Wonder Man.
Warning: SPOILERS ahead!
Nerdist suggested that Nathan Fillion’s cameo appearance may be just a throwaway gag, an Easter egg for the fans by writer/director James Gunn. However, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe film series remember that Jeremy Renner made his first appearance in the MCU via an uncredited cameo in Thor, playing a SHIELD agent named Barton who preferred a bow to a rifle. Comic book fans immediately recognized him as Hawkeye. Non-comic book readers were wondering why the rest of the theater audience was gasping in awe and delight.
As the Inquisitr revealed, the scenes with Nathan Fillion as Simon Williams will take place on Earth. This could be a flashback, with Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, remembering something from his childhood on Earth. It could be one of the famous after-credits scenes, possibly setting the stage for Simon Williams to have a larger role in a future MCU movie. And it could mean that the Guardians are coming to Star-Lord’s home planet in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.
Nathan Fillion is, of course, no stranger to science fiction. The handsome Canadian actor is probably best known for playing Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, captain-owner of a battered Firefly-class starship named Serenity in Joss Whedon’s cult-favorite TV show, Firefly, and the sequel movie, Serenity. He also played the false priest, Caleb, in Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the god Hermes in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and big-monster-on-campus Johnny Worthington in Monsters University. He even had a bit part in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, doing the voice for an inmate who threatened Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, in the Kyln prison. In the soon-to-be released Yamasong: March of the Hollows, Fillion plays Shojun.
Nor is Nathan Fillion a stranger to superheroes. Not only did he play Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, but he has done several voices for cartoons and video games. Fillion has voiced Green Lantern in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Justice League: Doom, Robot Chicken, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. He’ll be Captain Superior in the upcoming animated film, Henchman. Fillion voiced Sgt. Reynolds and Sgt. Edward Buck in several editions of the Halo video game.
There were rumors in 2010 that Nathan Fillion was going to be cast as Ant-Man in a future MCU movie. Those rumors proved false, with Michael Douglas of Streets of San Francisco fame eventually playing Dr. Hank Pym and Scott Rudd playing Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man, in the 2015 Ant-Man movie. However, fans of Nathan Fillion and Joss Whedon have been waiting and hoping for Fillion to take a role in an MCU movie. Whedon has cast Fillion in several roles, from space rogue Mal Reynolds in Firefly and Serenity to Constable Dogberry in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
Whether Nathan Fillion’s Wonder Man will be nothing but a brief cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 or the entrance of a new major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen. Wonder Man, alias Simon Williams, started his super-career as a villain, a member of Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil. As a young business executive, well-intentioned but incompetent, he embezzled from his father’s company to make foolish investments suggested by his brother (who would later become the Grim Reaper). Arrested and imprisoned, he fell into bad company. Baron Zemo subjected Williams to experimental ionic ray treatment, giving him superhuman strength. Wonder Man had a change of heart, and eventually joined the Avengers. He became an actor, using his superhuman abilities to perform his own stunts. In the comic books, Wonder Man is the Vision’s “brother,” as Simon Williams’ brain patterns were used to program the Vision. Since the Vision in the MCU is based off Tony Stark’s AI, Jarvis, there may not be any connection between Wonder Man and the Vision in the movies.
Nathan Fillion, as reported in the Inquisitr, is currently starring in Castle as mystery writer Rick Castle, husband of NYPD Captain Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic. The show has not been renewed for a ninth season yet, and as Stana Katic has been fired, some fans are threatening to boycott if Castle continues without her. This could be a perfect opportunity for Nathan Fillion to leave Rick Castle behind and embark on a bright future as Wonder Man.
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