it was announced that the Silver Surfer would be in Fantastic Four 2, some people began to get worried about whether or not Galactus would be showing up in the film. Comic nerds know that Silver Surfer’s first appearance way back when was as the herald of Galactus, a huge guy in a silly hat and loincloth whose idea of a nice meal was your homeworld. So how could you have Silver Surfer without Galactus? It’s like having Abbott without Costello.

And the answer is that you don’t. As has been widely speculated and all but confirmed until now, Galactus will be in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. And as I have long speculated, he won’t be showing up in purple. Screenwriter Don Payne has told Comics2Film that he’s using three story arcs as his inspiration: the original “Coming of Galactus” story from Fantastic Four #48-50, the Silver Surfer’s run in with Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four #57-60… and the Ultimate Extinction miniseries, which seems to be where Payne’s take on Galactus is coming from. He’s described Galactus as less of a character and more of a “force,” which is how Warren Ellis used him in that miniseries- a hive-minded alien thing that looked far less goofy than a ten story tall hungry man.

Payne tells the site that the second film takes place a year after the first, and the FF are dealing with being celebrities. They have more money, and they’ve run into a couple of supervillains in the ensuing months. Ben Grimm is more comfortable as The Thing, and Reed and Sue are about to get married. All of that gets screwed up when the Surfer appears, apparently very early in the film. And Dr. Doom takes a serious interest in him and his Power Cosmic.

For those of you who felt the first film wasn’t grim n’ gritty enough – too bad, you’re getting more of the same with this movie. “I think the sci-fi aspects set [the Fantastic Four] apart from other superhero comics,” says Payne. “It will definitely have comedic moments, but it will also have drama and action and amazing visual effects. It’s a fun adventure movie first and foremost.”

Payne talks more about the movie at Comics2Film, and he spitballs some third film concepts as well. I vote for the Negative Zone, Don.