Fans Bash Disney, “Gender-Swaps” Iconic 58-Year-Old Character

in Entertainment, Marvel

Walt Disney castle logo

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company, founded in 1923 by Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney, has grown into one of the world’s largest entertainment conglomerates, renowned for its iconic animated characters, theme parks, and media networks.

With a diverse portfolio spanning from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to modern franchises like Frozen (2013) and Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Disney has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. Beyond animation, Disney’s acquisitions of Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, and 21st Century Studios have broadened its offerings to include beloved franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Walt Disney Company building
Credit: The Walt Disney Company

However, Disney’s journey hasn’t been without controversy. In recent years, the company has faced criticism from some fans who argue that it has become overly “woke,” meaning it’s overly focused on progressive social issues. This criticism has come from various quarters, including backlash against the company’s decision to feature more diverse characters and storylines, as well as accusations of political correctness influencing its content. Now, this has allegedly extended to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) isn’t just a collection of movies; it’s a vast web of interconnected stories and characters that captivates audiences worldwide. With each installment, it weaves together intricate narratives and introduces iconic heroes and villains, shaping the landscape of modern cinema. Among the most anticipated additions to this cinematic universe is the arrival of the Fantastic Four, a cornerstone team in Marvel Comics lore. Despite previous attempts to bring these characters to the big screen, none have quite captured the essence and grandeur deserving of an MCU film.

The Avengers gathered together on the promotional poster of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Now, Marvel Studios is poised to rectify that with their latest rendition, simply titled The Fantastic Four (2025). Led by an ensemble cast including Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/Human Torch, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/The Thing, this iteration promises to deliver a fresh take on the beloved superhero team.

Adding to the excitement is the recent announcement that the Silver Surfer will also join the fray. A character of immense significance within the Marvel Comics pantheon, the Silver Surfer, also known as Norrin Radd, has long been associated with the Fantastic Four, particularly in their cosmic adventures. While audiences may recall his portrayal in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Marvel Studios is set to introduce a new interpretation of this iconic character—one that may surprise and intrigue fans, which Inside the Magic previously covered.

Julia garner in a silver dress at a New Years party, female Silver Surfer in space
Credit: Julia Garner Instagram, Marvel Comics

Enter Julia Garner, acclaimed for her performances in Ozark and Inventing Anna, who will portray a gender-swapped version of the Silver Surfer in The Fantastic Four. This casting decision is a bold one, to say the least, particularly when it comes to Disney’s last few duds at the box office.

As with any major casting announcement, there has been speculation and apprehension from certain corners of the fanbase. Concerns about “woke” culture and the alteration of beloved characters have surfaced on social media, with some expressing reservations about the gender-swapped interpretation of the Silver Surfer.

One fan called for a boycott of the movie.

The official cast announcement of Fantastic Four, featuring everyone enjoying themselves in the living room
Credit: Marvel Studios

One fan said they believe the movie is going to be “woke garbage.”

However, another fan noted that there was a female Silver Surfer in the comics.

Still, that hasn’t stopped backlash from coming in droves. Ultimately, the jury is still out. One influencer shared that he believes the “MCU is doomed.”

The cast of 'Fantastic Four'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

At this time, no other information about Fantastic Four has been released by Disney or Marvel Studios.

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