Bob Odenkirk Joining The Marvel Cinematic Universe?

A new unconfirmed report suggests Marvel wants Bob Odenkirk for the upcoming Wonder Man series.

By Michileen Martin | Published

Bob Odenkirk of Better Call Saul fame is being eyed for an important role in Marvel’s upcoming Wonder Man series, according to a new unconfirmed report. The Illuminerdi says its sources have learned Odenkirk is the top choice for an undisclosed role in the show. There’s no word in the story about whether or not the Breaking Bad star is at all receptive to the idea.

The Illuminerdi made it clear that all they know is that Bob Odenkirk is being eyed for a “special role” in Wonder Man but without mentioning specifics. The site speculated that he could be playing a character named Neal Saroyan who works as the titular hero’s agent in his one and only ongoing comic book series which ran from 1991-4. While Odenkirk might seem like a perfect fit for such a character, considering his time as Saul Goodman on both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, we have a couple of reasons to doubt–assuming the report is true–that this is the character the actor is being considered for.

First, there is his time on Vince Gilligan’s series as Saul Goodman. Hollywood agents are often portrayed the same as Goodman was–fast-talking, quick on their feet, and having a very interesting relationship with the truth. So while casting directors might see Bob Odenkirk as a perfect fit for the role, you would think they might also assume–considering he spent the better part of 13 years playing Saul Goodman–he might want to do something else.

bob odenkirk
Neal Saroyan in Wonder Man #1 (Marvel Comics, 1991)

Second, there’s regrettably a much darker reason. The Wonder Man comics in which Neal Saroyan first appeared, were written by a man named Gerard Jones who has since become one of the most hated people in comics. In 2018, Jones was sentenced to six years in prison for possession of child pornography.

If Bob Odenkirk plays Neal Saroyan, or any characters Jones co-created, it would be expected that Jones would get a credit acknowledging his contribution. That alone would be enough to keep the character out of the series. If you doubt that, please note that the ridiculous DC Comics character Arm-Fall-Off-Boy was co-created by Gerard Jones and Curt Swan, that it’s Arm-Fall-Off-Boy that Nathan Fillion’s TDK in 2021’s The Suicide Squad is based upon, and ask yourself why they changed the character’s codename.

Of course, there’s no reason why Bob Odenkirk couldn’t be cast in a role like that of Neal Saroyan–just with a different name–but again that might seem like far too obvious a role for the actor. You would think Marvel would try to give him a new and enticing challenge.

Bob Odenkirk is just one of a few names that we know of that will be attached to the Disney+ Wonder Man series. OnThursday we exclusively reported LeVar Burton is in talks to play Sanford Williams, Wonder Man’s father. Yahya Abdul-Matteen II has been cast in the lead role, and Ben Kingsley is due to reprise his role as Trevor Slattery in the show.