Marvel Studios’ new Wonder Man series is off to a bad start. A crew member on the set of the upcoming series suffered a fatal accident earlier today. The unidentified rigger’s death was the result of a fall from the rafters of the CBS Radford Studios where Wonder Man is being shot. The series was not filming at the time of the accident.
Marvel Confirmed The Accident
A spokesperson for Marvel confirmed that the accident took place and that the crewmember died as a result. “Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family and friends, and our support is behind the investigation into the circumstances of this accident.” added the spokesperson.
Wonder Man Starts Production Next Month
Wonder Man was set to start its production next month following delays brought on by last year’s WGA and SAG AFTRA strikes. There has been no word yet on whether the accidental death will delay the start of shooting any further. The series originally started filming last April before the strikes broke out.
DC’s Black Manta Is Marvel’s Wonder Man
The new Marvel series stars Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the titular Wonder Man, a long-time Marvel comics mainstay who has yet to make his live-action debut in the MCU. Born Simon Williams, Wonder Man started as a villain imbued with “ionic” energy who went up against the 1964 Avengers roster. Much like Hawkeye, who debuted as a villain, Wonder Man eventually changed his evil ways and joined the team he once terrorized.
Wonder Man Will Start Out As A Villain
The 10-episode Disney+ series was created by Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Guest. Wonder Man will follow Simon as he goes to work for the villainous Baron Zemo when his parent’s company loses out to Stark Industries. Joining Abdul Mateen II is Ben Kingsley, presumably reprising his role as drunken actor Trevor Slattery and Ed Harris.
Wonder Man Is A Powerhouse
The DC Lawsuit That Blackballed Wonder Man
The character was retired for a time due to a lawsuit from DC over the name Wonder Man being close to Wonder Woman. In a 1978 interview, Stan Lee recalled how almost immediately after Marvel stopped using Wonder Man, DC came out with a new character named Power Girl—a moniker for Marvel’s own Power Man. “Oh, boy. How unfair,” remarked Lee.
On-Set Accidents Are Rising
The crewmember’s death comes at a time when on-set accidents are coming under heavy scrutiny. Thanks to the infamous Rust shooting and the publicity the tragedy generated, movie and television productions are under fire for lax safety precautions. Last year saw a number of crew members in Morocco injured on the set of Gladiator 2 during the filming of an explosive stunt sequence.
Hoping For Everyone’s Safety Moving Forward
Similarly, a 63-year-old production assistant was killed last year while setting up traffic cones for a shoot in Brooklyn on the set of the Starz series Power. According to the Associated Press, there were 194 serious on-set accidents between 1990 and 2014, along with roughly 43 deaths.
Hopefully, the production of Marvel’s Wonder Man will be able to avoid any more tragedy when it resumes next month.