An upcoming reboot of a classic drama series has found its lead. According to Deadline, Elisha “EJ” Williams has coveted the lead role in ABC’s reboot of The Wonder Years. You can check out the heartwarming moment Williams received the news from writer Saladin Patterson (The Last O.G., Dave) and original series star Fred Savage (Little Monsters, Once Upon a Deadpool), in the video below:
Deadline reports Williams will play Dean, the young protagonist who will narrate a different family’s perspective of 1960s America. Similar to Savage’s role as Kevin Arnold in the original series, Williams’ Dean will give viewers the perspective of the same time period from an African American family living in Montgomery, Alabama. Dean is described as a good-natured kid, who besides his somewhat pre-teen awkwardness, is curious beyond his years about the changing world around him.
For six seasons, The Wonder Years’ unique coming-of-age story captivated audiences. Like a living time capsule, Kevin reflected on his youth experiencing the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and puberty. With its iconic theme song performed by Joe Cocker (Night Calls, Joe Cocker Live) the show starred Dan Lauria (Holidate, Sullivan & Son) and Alley Mills (Appetite for Love, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) as Kevin’s parents, Jack and Norma Arnold. His older brother, Wayne, was portrayed by Jason Hervey (100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, Back to the Future). Josh Saviano (Camp Cucamonga, The Wrong Guys) played Paul, Kevin’s best friend. And Danica McKellar (Young Justice, Crown for Christmas) was Kevin’s teen crush, Gwendolyn “Winnie” Cooper.
Patterson and Savage are executive producers, according to Deadline. They are joined by Lee Daniels (Empire, Star) and Marc Velez (Waiting to Exhale, Good People) via Lee Daniels Entertainment. In addition to producing, Savage is set to direct the pilot episode. The series will be produced through 20th Television and original series co-creator, Neal Marlens (Ellen, Growing Pains), is attached as a consultant.