Now this The fantastic FourWith the main cast set, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding what the Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot could bring. We received a pretty strong indication on Wednesday night, with reports confirming that Ozarks It is Inventing Anna actress Julia Garner joined The fantastic Four in an important role. Garner is reportedly set to play the Marvel Comics character Shalla-Bal, who will serve as the Silver Surfer in the film.

So who exactly is Shalla-Bal? Keep reading to find out a little more about his history in Marvel Comics.

Who is Marvel's Shalla-Bal?

Created by Stan Lee and John Buscema in 1968 Silver Surfer #1, Shalla-Bal is introduced as the Empress of Zenn-La, a utopian planet originally created by time-traveling Norrin Radd/Silver Surfer. Shalla-Bal and Norrin initially met after his mother's death, but he ignored her feelings for him and focused on her work. After Norrin received the Power Cosmic and became the Silver Surfer, he left Shalla-Bal, in part so that Galactus would theoretically spare Zenn-La from his planet-devouring wrath.

Over the years, Shalla-Bal continued to have feelings for the Silver Surfer, even as she was cloned, manipulated by Mephisto, and briefly killed. During this storyline, Norrin actually gave Shalla-Bal some of the Power Cosmic so she could help save Zenn-La from being destroyed by Galactus. Afterwards, Shalla-Bal told Norrin that she could not marry him, out of duty to her planet. She has appeared periodically since then, both in Silver Surfer stories and in larger parts of Marvel's corner of comics.

Although Shalla-Bal was largely portrayed as a humanoid alien ruler in the main Marvel canon, she became the Silver Surfer in the separate continuity of the Earth X miniseries. In a brief appearance in the issue, Shalla-Bal and Norrin were given the Power Cosmic and were dubbed the twin heralds of a new Galactus, Franklin Richards, only for Shalla-Bal to be quickly killed.

Before Shalla-Bal's appearance in the Fantastic Four, she appeared in the 1998 film Silver Surfer animated series, in which she was voiced by Camilla Scott. Her and Norrin's love story also inspired several songs.

What is the new The Fantastic Four Film about?

Plot details have not been revealed for Marvel's The fantastic Four. The fantastic Four will star 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. The film will be directed by WandaVisionis Matt Shakman, who teased this the way the The Fantastic Four The script's approach to its plot – and the influences of its Marvel Comics source material – appealed to him.

“It’s different in a lot of ways,” Shakman explained. “I wish I could be specific. I wish I could say more. But we're doing things very differently from a story perspective, from a cinematic approach, which really fits the material. I wish I could say more. I would love to, but I can't. But I think it will be unlike anything you’ve seen before, and certainly unlike anything you’ve seen at Marvel.”

“We’ve been non-stop,” Shakman said of the film’s pre-production work. “Despite the strikes, yes, we have been working on effects and production design and building our world, and that has been incredibly exciting. You know, how do you translate those skills into live action in a dynamic way? Because some things that work beautifully in John Byrne and Jack Kirby are a little more difficult when you film them. How do you make sure things are exciting but also based on something scientific, which is also part of the The Fantastic Four that I love? There are a few things that I'm super excited about. I can't say much, you know?

Are you excited to see Marvel's Shalla-Bal make her MCU debut in The fantastic Four? Share your opinion with us in the comments below!

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

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