Anti-Woke Mob Criticizes Marvel for Silver Surfer Casting Choice

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The Silver Surfer in 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' (2007)

Credit: 20th Century Studios

For an extended period, Kevin Feige has held the role of President at Marvel Studios, steering the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) within the framework of The Walt Disney Company. The MCU’s profound influence on the superhero film genre and the entire cinematic landscape has left an enduring mark, despite differing perspectives.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) dying looking at Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in 'Avengers: Endgame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Forget Tony Stark, Sources Confirm Marvel Has Cast Its New MCU Leader

The grand narrative, famously referred to as the Infinity Saga, reached a climax with the debut of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), signifying the end of the MCU’s Phase Three. The franchise’s extraordinary expansion and unrivaled status at the top of the superhero genre have firmly established it as a significant, if not preeminent, presence in the film industry.

As it stands, there is now a unique opportunity for new superhero teams such as the Fantastic Four and X-Men to take center stage.

Kevin Feige in front of the Avengers
Credit: Inside the Magic

Marvel’s Fantastic Four History

The Fantastic Four ensemble comprises four legendary heroes who hold a pivotal role in the Marvel Comics universe. One constant within the team is their composition: Reed Richards, known as Mister Fantastic, is the brilliant leader, while Sue Storm assumes the role of the nurturing figure, adopting the alias Invisible Woman. Johnny Storm, the impulsive and fiery member of the team, is the Human Torch, and the gentle giant Ben Grimm is commonly known as The Thing.

These iconic characters have long been integral to Marvel Comics, sharing the limelight with other notable figures such as the X-Men and Spider-Man, even preceding the emergence of beloved personalities like Iron Man/Tony Stark and Captain America/Steve Rogers, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans in the MCU, respectively.

Fantastic Four L-R: Human Torch, Thing, Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: Director Has Departed Marvel Franchise Following Studio Executives’ Dirty Tactics

Film adaptations of the Fantastic Four, produced by 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios under Disney’s ownership), commenced in 2005 with the release of the movie titled Fantastic Four. The cast included Ioan Gruffudd in the role of Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, Chris Evans as Human Torch/Johnny Storm, and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing, under the direction of Tim Story. A sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, followed in 2007, with both films receiving mixed reviews from both critics and audiences.

marvel fantastic four reboot cast
Credit: 20th Century Studios

In 2015, a reboot titled Fantastic Four (stylized as FANT4STIC) introduced Miles Teller (Mister Fantastic), Kate Mara (Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch), and Jamie Bell (The Thing) as the main cast, with Josh Trank as the director. Unfortunately, this reboot faced severe criticism, which negatively impacted the public perception of the Fantastic Four franchise. Consequently, audiences expressed a strong desire for a fresh approach to these beloved Marvel characters.

Marvel Studios appears poised to respond to this demand, with indications that the focus may shift toward Sue Storm as a central character in the upcoming iteration. Currently, rumored candidates for the MCU’s Reed Richards and Smartest Man Alive are Adam Driver (Star Wars) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Morbius), while Paul Mescal (Normal People) is supposedly a favorite to play Johnny Storm/Human Torch. Meanwhile, the casting for Sue Storm/Invisible Woman has been debated intensely — with names like Mila Kunis (That 70’s Show), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), and even Margot Robbie (Barbie) being floated.

Jessica Alba Fantastic Four
Jessica Alba
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Marvel’s New Reported Silver Surfer Casting

The Silver Surfer in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer became an iconic villain to many movie-goers, with his eye-catching, all-silver body.

According to a new report from known a Hollywood and Marvel Studios insider MyTimeToShineHello however, it appears that the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuum will have one key difference from the 2007 film and even the Marvel Comics origin — being a female instead of male:

Galactus’ herald in the MCU Fantastic Four reboot will be a woman

In the Marvel Comics, Galactus, known as the “Devourer of Worlds,” is a cosmic entity with the insatiable appetite to consume entire planets. To aid him in this cosmic task, Galactus selects beings to serve as his heralds. These heralds are bestowed with a fraction of Galactus’s immense power, granting them superhuman abilities and enhancing their physical and mental attributes. Notable heralds include the Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd), who rebelled against his master (and later became a hero), Terrax the Tamer (Tyros), who controlled the earth, Nova (Frankie Raye), a former human with fiery powers, and Air-Walker (Gabriel Lan), a resurrected warrior with control over the air.

This report names the Fantastic Four villain as “Galactus’ herald”, which most likely indicates the Silver Surfer (being a prominent Fantastic Four nemesis from earlier films), meaning that Marvel Studios would be switching up the character’s gender.

Naturally, members of the public have had many thoughts on this reported casting choice. Users like @Breaking57 are calling the decision “unbelievable” and “more WOKE”, claiming that Marvel Studios would “go bankrupt”:

omg. you are telling me more WOKE. they’re going to keep doing this till they go bankrupt I guess.. unbelievable

The classic “M-She-U” moniker is also being bandied about — a term used by the same group of people who believe Marvel Studios is heading for ruin by including more women in major superhero roles. @gothicdimension opined:

Those msheu criticisms were true it seems

Others however were defending the alleged casting choice, like user @alexthaalien, who clarified that Galactus has multiple heralds, including the female herald, Frankie Raye/Nova:

Galactus has had multiple heralds… this doesn’t mean Silver Surfer is a woman, guys.

Others were also ready to call out the misogyny apparent in many comments — like @charcekage noting how comics have always included diverse characters, not just white men — in response to user Miguel Madrigal’s seeming disdain for this gender switch casting:

Miguel Madrigal: Wtf are we doing 🤦🏻‍♂️

@charcekage: People like this only think comics include white men only
(text within image) YOU’RE AN IDIOT

At the end of the day, whether it ends up being Norrin Radd/Silver Surfer or Frankie Raye/Nova as the main adversary for this Marvel universe’s Fantastic Four team, Marvel Studios is certainly going to try to ensure that their biggest remaining superhero team and franchise outside the X-Men is a resounding success.

Do you think either a female Silver Surfer or Frankie Raye’s Nova would work in the MCU’s Fantastic Four? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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