Julia Garner Joins The Fantastic Four as Shalla-Bal

There’s a new Silver Surfer in town. Deadline reports that one more cast member has signed on to Marvel’s latest Fantastic Four movie: Julia Garner, who won multiple Emmys for her incredible work on Ozark, will play Shalla-Bal—who Deadline describes as “a version of Silver Surfer from the comics.”

If you are not a Fantastic Four completist, you might be wondering Who? and/or What? Shalla-Bal is technically a very old character, appearing first in Silver Surfer #1 in 1968. She had a whole tragic love story thing wherein a nice gentleman named Norrin Radd offered himself to Galactus in order to save their planet (and her). Radd becomes the Silver Surfer, and their planet—of which Shalla-Bal is the empress, naturally—is saved, at least for the moment.

So when does she become the Silver Surfer? ComicBook.com explains, “Although Shalla-Bal has largely been portrayed as a humanoid alien ruler in the main Marvel canon, she did become the Silver Surfer in the separate continuity of the Earth X miniseries.”

More happens after this, but it feels potentially very spoilery to elaborate! At any rate, this wouldn’t be the first time the MCU introduced an element from Earth X—the concept of the Celestials seeding planets to reproduce, with superpowers and mutations being a side effect of that action, was an Earth X idea introduced in Eternals.

Garner joins a stacked Fantastic cast, with Pedro Pascal playing Reed Richards, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm. WandaVision’s Matt Shakman is directing, and the script is by script by Josh Friedman, Jeff Kaplan, Eric Pearson, and Ian Springer. Rumors abound that the film might be set in the 1960s; other theories suggest that it’s an alternate universe.

Galactus, notes Deadline writer Justin Kroll, is still expected to be the big bad. The Fantastic Four is scheduled to premiere on July 25, 2025. icon-paragraph-end

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