Fantastic Four’s Historic Silver Surfer Casting Reveals an Even Bigger Villain

The MCU’s Silver Surfer will look a little different.

Fox Studios

Matt Shakman’s Fantastic Four movie is pulling no punches with the casting. On Valentine’s Day, we finally got a glimpse of what actors would play the dream team: Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm, aka The Thing. But no super squad is anything without a villain, and almost two months later we finally have an inkling as to who that villain will be, and it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Deadline reports that Ozark star Julia Garner will play Silver Surfer in the MCU’s Fantastic Four, the first time a woman has played the role in live-action. According to the report, this isn’t the Silver Surfer we saw in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. She has a different name and origin story — and her inclusion could hint at an even bigger villain.

Ozark’s Julia Garner will play The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four.

Gilbert Flores/Golden Globes 2024/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Fantastic Four’s Silver Surfer will be the female version of the character, also known as Shalla-Bal. In the comics, Shalla-Bal is usually portrayed as Silver Surfer’s true love, the kind of character who can find her way to him no matter what universe they were in. In one comic universe, she and Silver Surfer manipulated Franklin Richards to believe he was the Celestial Galactus.

With a little help from the High Evolutionary, he was granted the actual power of Galactus and gave Shalla-Bal matching powers to the Silver Surfer. Unfortunately, she was murdered in the very same issue she got these powers, but she was a Silver Surfer all the same.

The his-and-hers Silver Surfers on the cover of Earth X #12, published in 2000.

Marvel Comics

Shalla-Bal may exist in many forms, but a form where she’s a Silver Surfer suggests we’ll see an origin story similar to this one, where her powers are granted to her by Silver Surfer’s master Galactus. This would align with the many rumors that Galactus would be the other major villain of Fantastic Four.

With Garner now part of this cast, Fantastic Four is looking like the most star-studded MCU movie since Avengers: Endgame. And much like Avengers: Endgame, it’s making sure it shows that women can be anything, from superheroes to chrome-covered villains.

Fantastic Four premieres in theaters July 25, 2025.

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