Gary Susman
July 14, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Jessica Alba demonstrated her super-powers on TV’s ”Dark Angel,” but her heroics may go unseen in her next movie. That’s because she’s playing Sue Storm, a.k.a. Invisible Girl, in the upcoming ”Fantastic Four.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, Alba’s casting, rumored last week, is now official. She beat out such reported contenders for the role as ”The Notebook”’s Rachel McAdams, ”Felicity”’s Keri Russell, and Elizabeth Banks, who plays Daily Bugle staffer Betty Brant in the ”Spider-Man” movies. She completes a cast that includes ”The Shield” star Michael Chiklis, ”King Arthur”’s Ioan Gruffudd, and ”The Perfect Score”’s Chris Evans.

Alba’s character is the love interest for Reed Richards (Gruffudd) and one of four astronauts who become super-powered mutants after their ship is bombarded with cosmic rays. Richards becomes rubber-limbed Mr. Fantastic, while Sue’s brother Johnny (Evans) becomes the pyrotechnic Human Torch, and pal Ben Grimm (Chiklis) becomes the orange-brick creature known as The Thing. Tim Story (”Barbershop”) is directing the film, which 20th Century Fox expects to release next July.

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