‘The Wonder Years’ reboot has Don Cheadle, 1960s nostalgia and more

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The year was 1968. Kevin Arnold was 12 years old. And a lot happened that year. 

Fans of “The Wonder Years” will get to experience that great coming-of-age story on their TV screens once again in Lee Daniels’ reboot — which focuses on a black family in the original’s same timeframe.

ABC released a trailer for its “Wonder Years” reboot featuring an all-new cast and a whole new story centering around 12-year-old Dean Williams.

The revival is set in 1968 and is narrated by none other than Marvel star Don Cheadle. The show follows the Williams family of Montgomery, Alabama, as they experience segregation, love, relationships and typical issues of preteens.

Cheadle plays the adult Dean, while Elisha “EJ” Williams took over the Fred Savage role as the preteen Dean. Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh and Laura Kariuki also star as members of the Williams family.

“Twelve was the age I was gonna figure out what my bag was. I’d never be as popular as my sister, as smart as my mom or as bad as my dad,” Cheadle says in the teaser. “Some people didn’t feel like we needed to mix black people with white people — I didn’t understand all that. But I decided what my bag would be: the great uniter.”

A cover of Joe Cocker’s iconic “Wonder Years” theme song, “With a Little Help From My Friends,” also plays in the trailer. One scene shows Dean bringing his friends and family together to desegregate his Little League team. Another scene shows typical adolescent drama in the form of bullies stuffing someone into a middle school locker.

Elisha “EJ” Williams plays 12-year-old Dean Williams in the reboot.
ABC

Savage is an executive producer on the new series, alongside “The Butler” director Daniels. The “Grinder” actor also directed a few episodes of the reboot.

The original dramedy aired from 1988 until 1993, over the course of six seasons.

“The Wonder Years” premieres Sept. 22 on ABC.

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