The Wonder Years reboot on ABC has cast actor Elisha “EJ” Williams as lead for the pilot episode. Williams is portraying Dean, an inquisitive and hopeful 12-year-old who’s coming of age in a turbulent time and trying to figure out his place both within his family and in the larger world. Williams’ character is a little insecure, a tad awkward and a bit self-conscious, but he is determined to make his mark on the world around him. Williams is charged with depicting a character set in 1968 in Montgomery, Alabama. Dean is attempting to find a place within his Black family and the Deep South.
The Wonder Years pilot is being directed by Empire creator Lee Daniels, who is largely reinventing the franchise for modern day society.
The original Wonder Years series star Fred Savage will direct and executively produce the reboot, alongside co-creator Neal Marlens, who will serve as a consultant on the show. ABC shared a heartwarming video where Savage calls Elisha over Zoom to essentially “pass the torch” and share the good news that he had landed the role in the brand new Wonder Years reboot series.
EJ began acting at the age of 8 years old. After two years of persuading his parents, EJ finally them to allow him to pursue acting after earning the lead spot in a school production. He has since co-starred in Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger and Danger Force. He is also the voice of Bingo, the lead character on Disney Jr.’s hit animated series Puppy Dog Pals.
The young star was almost brought to tears in the video where he learns of his latest role, but it was cut short due to the annoying technical glitches of video conference calling. EJ will join a talented cast and crew for the Wonder Years reboot, and he will bring life to his latest role.
Watch the touching video below.