Is the return of Laurence Fishburne’s Silver Surfer to the big screen possible? At this point, virtually anything is possible when it comes to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Previously out of bounds characters have a once closed door now open to them.
Discussions about the recent purchase of Fox by Disney continually returns to topics related to Marvel Comics characters. Marvel Studios does not hold all the rights to its characters as many were licensed to Fox long ago. Disney owns Marvel and now Disney owns Fox. Therefore, the parent company absorbs the licensing rights at Fox held and could easily allow certain characters to appear in MCU films. Michael Chiklis recently joked about bringing Ben Grimm, The Thing, to the MCU. Why wouldn’t Marvel Studios not wish to bring either The Thing or the Silver Surfer into new projects?
A few things complicated bringing the actor back as the voice of the Silver Surfer. And yes, Fishburne only lent his voice as a different actor provided the body of the CGI-animated here. One complication would be Fishburne has already joined the MCU as Goliath in the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp movie. Would Marvel Studios want the same actor playing two different heroes? And for that matter, does Marvel Studios really want the Silver Surfer back? Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer wasn’t one of Fox’s best cinematic hero hits.
There are, however, several compelling reasons why the Silver Surfer would make a great character in upcoming phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For one, there is a desire to increase the number of cosmic adventures thanks to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. The Silver Surfer is an intergalactic hero, which makes him perfect for these types of movies.
Also, throughout his history in the comic books the Silver Surfer never really achieved much success in a solo book. As part of an ensemble or as a guest in other character’s books, he usually worked out well. Therefore, he could be a nice addition to another hero’s movie the way the Incredible Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok. Granted, this approach was used in the Fantastic Four sequel and flopped.
Disney and Marvel surely want to maximize their usage of characters they own. A return of the Silver Surfer could be part of those plans. Fishburne could lend his voice, but no plans for the actor or the iconic hero are in the works at present.