Marvel’s Fantastic Four reboot has just added another major player. On Wednesday, reports confirmed that Julia Garner has joined the cast of Marvel Studios’ The Fantastic Four, as the Shalla-Bal incarnation of Silver Surfer. Garner has won three Emmy Awards for her work as Ruth Langmore on Ozark, as well as a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Anna Delvey on Inventing Anna. 

Garner will join a The Fantastic Four cast that includes Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm / Invisible Woman, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm / The Thing, and Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm / Human Torch. 

Who Is Shalla-Bal?

Created by Stan Lee and John Buscema in 1968’s Silver Surfer #1, Shalla-Bal is initially established as the Empress of the planet Zenn-La, as well as the love interest of Norrin Radd / Silver Surfer. When Norrin was banished to Earth by Galactus, Shanna became a pawn in a conspiracy against him, briefly being brainwashed by Mephisto into believing she is a human woman from Latveria. Simultaneously, Galactus began to destroy the planet of Zenn-La, and Norrin gave Shalla part of the Power Cosmic by the end of the story so she could help restore it to its former glory. 

Shalla-Bal then continued to operate as a cosmic ruler in the Marvel Universe, occasionally reconnecting with or being saved by Norrin. She did become the Silver Surfer in 2000’s alternate universe storyline Earth X, when she and Norrin were both given the Power Cosmic and dubbed the twin-heralds of a new Galactus, Franklin Richards. Unfortunately, Shalla-Bal was quickly killed in the span of the same issue.

What Is the New Fantastic Four Movie About?

Plot details have not been revealed for Marvel’s The Fantastic Four. The film will be directed by WandaVision‘s Matt Shakman, who has teased that the way the Fantastic Four script approaches its plot — and the influences of its Marvel Comics source material — appealed to him.

“It’s different in so many ways,” Shakman explained. “I wish I could be specific. I wish I could say more. But we are doing things very differently from a story standpoint, from an approach to the filmmaking standpoint, that really fits the material. I wish I could say more. I would love to, but I can’t. But I think it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve seen before, and certainly unlike anything at Marvel that you’ve seen before.”

“We have been nonstop,” Shakman said of the pre-production work on the film. “Despite the strikes, yes, we’ve been working with the effects and with production design and building our world, and that’s been incredibly exciting. You know, how do you translate those skills into live-action in dynamic ways? Because some things that work beautifully in John Byrne and Jack Kirby are a little tougher when you’re filming them. How do you make sure that things are exciting but also grounded in a scientific thing, which is also part of the Fantastic Four that I love? There’s some stuff I’m super excited about. I can’t say too much, you know?”

(Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic, Marvel Comics)

What do you think of Julia Garner joining the cast of The Fantastic Four as Silver Surfer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

The Fantastic Four is currently scheduled to be released exclusively in theaters on July 25, 2025.

h/t: Deadline

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