Set to the familiar tune of the original show’s theme song — Joe Cocker’s cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” — the trailer introduces Cheadle as a grown-up Dean Williams looking back at his 12-year-old self, who is played by Elisha Williams.
“It’s the little things that you remember all your life,” says Cheadle, as he reminisces about fond childhood memories. “Your first hit, your first kiss, the first time your dad lets you know that he sees you — well, I still hadn’t had the other two, but, boy, did that third one feel good!”
The new version of The Wonder Years is helmed by Empire co-creator Lee Daniels. Like the original, the series will start in 1968, but centers around the Williams family in Montgomery, Alabama instead of the Arnolds, a white, middle-class family living in a typical suburban American home.
Rounding out the cast are Dulé Hill (Psych, The West Wing), Saycon Sengbloh (Scandal), and Laura Kariuki (Black Lightning). Daniels serves as an executive producer alongside Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory, The Bernie Mac Show), who also wrote the teleplay. The original show’s star, Fred Savage, directed the pilot and is also executive producing.