Despite their declining fortunes at the box office, Marvel Studios seems primed to make a controversial casting choice for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. While reports have come out that The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy is being eyed for an unspecified villain role, the buzz online is that they want her to play The Silver Surfer. The news of Joy’s casting in the film (not who she’s being rumoured to play) comes from notorious scooper @DanielRPK. This follows recent, unconfirmed reports (via another Hollywood scooper, Jeff Sneider) that the character would be getting gender-swapped in Matt Shakman’s Fantastic Four reboot.
While the notion of gender-swapping the character, also known as Norrin Radd, may rub fans the wrong way, the character has been infamously tricky to translate to the big screen. The last live-action version of the character was in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, where Doug Jones played him (with Laurence Fishburne doing the voice), and the overall fan reaction was poor.
If Taylor-Joy plays The Silver Surfer, she’ll join what’s shaping up to be a star-studded cast. Pedro Pascal is apparently playing Mr. Fantastic, while Napoleon star Vanessa Kirby has long been linked to the role of Sue Storm. Stranger Things breakout Joseph Quinn has been linked with Johnny Blaze, while Ebon Moss-Bachrach of The Bear seems to be the front-runner to play The Thing. That casting comes courtesy of Jeff Sneider’s The InSnieder blog, although those names have long been in contention to play the lead roles.
All things considered, I would take the Silver Surfer gender-swapping news with a grain of salt. The studio seems to be undergoing a giant creative reset following some notable failures, and this news may predate the recent box office failure of The Marvels. With them going back to the drawing board on their Blade film, a more traditional version of the Silver Surfer may find its way into the movie. If not, hey – Anya Taylor-Joy is a great actress. Maybe she can pull it off?