Julia Garner joins Marvel's Fantastic Four reboot as the Silver Surfer, but not the one you're expecting

Silver Surfer in Marvel Comics and Julia Garner in Ozark
(Image credit: Marvel Comics/Netflix)

Julia Garner of Ozark and The Americans fame is joining the MCU Fantastic Four reboot movie as the Silver Surfer, according to a report from Deadline. But rather than playing the original Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd, she'll reportedly be playing a version of the character based on Shalla-Bal, Norrin Radd's lover and the ruler of the planet Zenn-La.

If that all sounds like mambo jumbo to you, here's the quickie version of the Silver Surfer's origin story. 

When Norrin Radd's home planet Zenn-La was targeted for consumption by the planet-eating entity known as Galactus, Norrin volunteered to become Galactus' herald, to seek out other worlds for him to devour. 

Accepting the deal, Galactus turned Norrin Radd into the Silver Surfer, imbuing him with the hard-to-define 'Power Cosmic' and forcing him to leave his home of Zenn-La and his lover, the planet's ruler Shalla-Bal, behind forever.

Silver Surfer eventually leads Galactus to Earth, where the Fantastic Four must find a way to deter Galactus from destroying the planet. 

So if Julia Garner is playing Shalla-Bal as the Silver Surfer, will Norrin Radd be cut out entirely, or will their places be totally swapped? Or will it be like the alt-universe comic story Earth-X, where Norrin and Shalla-Bal were reunited, with her also being imbued with the Power Cosmic?

Whichever way it goes, the presence of the Silver Surfer in the Fantastic Four reboot movie also implies the presence of some version of Galactus.

Both characters appeared in 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, in which the Silver Surfer was physically portrayed by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne, and Galactus himself appeared as a massive cosmic cloud rather than a giant in purple armor.

Garner joins the film's core cast of Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/the Thing.

Fantastic Four is scheduled for release in July 2025.

The original Galactus Saga is one of the best Fantastic Four stories of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)