Please, be normal about Julia Garner playing Silver Surfer

Julia Garner, Silver Surfer <br>
Julia Garner, Silver Surfer
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Something happens to people when they read casting news from within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps because the internet is built on the foundation of “Glenn Danzig would make a great Wolverine,” some simply can’t handle any time a slight swerve in casting. We can take this back to Michael Keaton playing Batman, but it intensifies whenever a metallic-skinned summer sports enthusiast is cast against type. We anticipate another round of that. Per Deadline, Julia Garner will play the Shalla-Bal Silver Surfer in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, and we’re hoping that people can be adults about it.

Garner won’t play the same Silver Surfer that Doug Jones and Laurence Fishburne played in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer. She’s not playing the “classic” Surfer, but rather Shalla-Bal, a character who first appeared in Silver Surfer #1 as the longtime love interest of Norin Radd, which remains a perfect name for a character with the moniker “Silver Surfer.” (Honestly, they should make a movie about Jack Kirby spitballing names, such as “Gnarly St. Cloud,” “Shredder Stevens,” and “Joseph Localsonly”). As his betrothed, Shalla-Bal is an essential piece of the Silver Surfer canon and eventually took up the mantel as the intergalactic metal surfer. It’s unclear if she will even be the surfer version of Shalla in the film or if she’ll play “Helena,” Shalla-Bal’s alter ego from the time her mind was controlled by Dr. Doom.

Like every character in the Marvel pantheon, Shalla-Bal has a ridiculously complicated backstory, such as when she hooked up with the Surfer’s half-brother or when Joe Satriani wrote a song about her. But since no one cares about or reads the comics or listens to Satriani records these days, that information will probably be secondary to the amount of “Wait, a girl?!” that seems inevitable. Still, we’d love to be proven wrong!

The rest of the Fantastic Four have already been cast, with Pedro Pascal playing Reed Richards, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm. We’re sort of assuming that Shalla-Bal’s inclusion in the film means that the male-identifying Silver Surfer will also appear in the movie—at least in a mid- or post-credit sequence. Regardless, Garner is a spectacular actor who will no doubt do her best to overcome the limitations of making a movie opposite a tennis ball while wearing a green body suit. At the very least, it gives us a reason to post the absolute best moment in all of Ozark.