Summary

  • A Nova project is in early development in the MCU, exciting fans after years of teases.
  • Past updates hint at the debut of Richard Rider’s Nova, and the potential for the Nova Corps to be rebuilt in the MCU.
  • Popular potential actors to play Richard Rider could include Ryan Gosling, Miles Teller, and John Boyega.



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Marvel Studios’ Nova project has finally received an update after three years. Having been teased since the debut of the Nova Corps in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the MCU has yet to feature its most famous members who hail from Earth. However, it seems as though a Nova show or movie may finally be happening.


In Marvel Comics, Richard Rider was given the power and rank of Nova Prime by the critically injured Rhomann Dey following the destruction of Xandar and the intergalactic peacekeeping force known as the Nova Corps. Eventually, the Corps was rebuilt and Rider became the Human Rocket, a hero to Earth and the galaxy at large as a leading member of the Nova Corps. To that end, here’s everything we know about the upcoming Nova project, how it’s been set up, all previous updates, and who might play Richard Rider on-screen in the MCU.

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Nova Is In Early Development In The MCU

Having Been Teased For Almost A Decade

Richard Rider's Nova in space in Marvel Comics


In an interview with Comic Book’s Brandon Davis, Marvel Studios’ Head of Television, Streaming, and Animation, Brad Winderbaum revealed that a Nova show or movie is in the very early stages of development:

“We love Nova. We are in really early development on Nova. We have a new system behind-the-scenes at Marvel Studios. We’re more like a traditional studio now. We’re developing more than we actually will produce. There are plans to develop Nova. I love Nova, too. I love Rich Rider, too. I hope it gets to the screen. The world is always chaos. There’s always things. You gotta conjure these things to make them happen but I would love to see a Nova show, one day.”

Considering all the past updates and teases Marvel Studios has given fans in the past regarding a Nova project over the years, this new update is very exciting to see. After all, the debut of Richard Rider in the MCU has nearly happened on multiple occasions over the last decade, ever since the first Guardians of the Galaxy.


Guardians of the Galaxy

Egotistic loner and “legendary” space pirate Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) falls foul of bounty hunters and his former allies after he steals an orb containing the Power Stone. Chased by Ronan the Accuser, a powerful Kree villain and thrown into an uneasy alliance with a group of similar misfits, he must adapt to his new dynamic or risk everything. He’s joined by gun-toting Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), treelike-alien Groot (Vin Diesel), Thanos’ daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and the vengeful Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). Can the galaxy’s most infamous a-holes really save the day?

Release Date
July 30, 2014

Writers
James Gunn , Nicole Perlman , Dan Abnett , Andy Lanning

Cast
Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Vin Diesel , Michael Rooker , Djimon Hounsou , Lee Pace , Benicio Del Toro , Glenn Close , Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Bradley Cooper , John C. Reilly

Runtime
122 Minutes

Every Previous Update On Nova’s Part In The MCU

What’s Been Said And Set-Up Thus Far

Nova from Marvel Comics next to the MCU's Multiverse Tree from Loki season 2

In early drafts, Richard Rider was featured in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy alongside the Nova Corps before he was ultimately cut from the script. However, rumors as early as 2017 suggested that Marvel was considering a Nova project. Original drafts for 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War had Rider crashing to Earth to warn about Thanos’ imminent arrival following the off-screen destruction of Xandar, and Marvel President Kevin Feige claimed Nova had “immediate potential”. The Russo Brothers joked about Nova being featured in Avengers: Endgame‘s final battle, though writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely confirmed Rider was intended for both films.


In 2021, rumors and reports came in that Marvel Studios was planning a Nova movie to be released in 2023. 2021 also saw Kevin Feige confirming that he didn’t yet know where Richard Rider might appear first in the MCU. While there were hopes for a Richard Rider appearance in 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, there was no such luck. That said, 2023’s What If…? Season 2 did reveal more about Nova Corps in the MCU, including their oath.

Nova Potential MCU Story Explained

Richard Rider Bringing Back The Corps?

Xandar’s destruction at the hands of Thanos is almost certainly a key foundation for Nova’s origins in the MCU. The same is true of Rhomann Dey who already exists in the MCU and was played by John C. Reilly in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. As such, Rider could easily be selected by Dey in a future Nova project, putting him on a mission to revive the Nova Corps that had been lost thanks to the Mad Titan.


Marvel Comics also has another Nova from Earth named Sam Alexander, a younger member of the Corps who inherited his father’s helmet, becoming a hero at a point when Richard Rider was trapped in another reality. However, the two Novas are now working in tandem in the current comics. While the future Nova project will likely feature Rider as mentioned by Winderbaum, Sam Alexander could certainly debut at a later date with the MCU getting two different Novas.

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Nova Cast: Who We Want To Play Nova

Several Great Options


It was rumored that Ryan Gosling was in talks to play Richard Rider in the MCU, though the actor did debunk those rumors in 2022. However, he would still be a prime candidate to play the character now that the project is confirmed to be in development. Likewise, other popular names that could don the iconic Nova Centurion’s helmet include Miles Teller, John Boyega, Zac Efron, or Taron Egerton. Although it will likely be some time before more details regarding the MCU’s Nova project are revealed, let alone casting, this new update is very encouraging nonetheless.

Key Release Dates

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