With the exception of Fantastic Four and X-Men characters (Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver excluded on the latter), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has the entire lineup of Marvel heroes and villains at their disposal. 2016 alone saw a number of notable players finally being introduced (most notably Black Panther and Doctor Strange), and Marvel is nowhere near close to touching the bottom of the barrel. However, there's only so many folks this franchise can get to, and according to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn, it may be a while until Nova makes his way to the big screen.
You know, I think Nova is a great character. He can definitely show up at some point in the future. It will not be in Guardians 2, but at some point.
While James Gunn has no problem using the Nova Corps (led by Glenn Close's Nova Prime) in his Guardians of the Galaxy movies, this isn't the first time that the director has stated that he isn't using Nova. It's not that he dislikes the character, it's because he wants Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, to be the only major human character in the Guardians adventures. So unless Gunn changes his mind for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or someone else takes over directing duties on the threequel, it's unlikely we'll ever see Nova hanging around with Gamora, Groot and the rest of the gang. That being said, Nova has been around long enough that it's hard to imagine him not eventually being introduced to the MCU, if not lead his own movie.
There are two primary humans who have held the Nova title in the Marvel comics universe: Richard Rider, seen at the top of the article, and Sam Alexander, seen directly above. Richard was the first human to be recruited into the Nova Corps, while Sam inherited the helmet from his father (not Richard), who was a Nova Centurion for many years before being sent back to Earth. Since the Nova Corps is active on Xandar in the MCU, the groundwork is already taken care of to introduce one of them; the question is when. Maybe Phase Four will find a way to include Nova, be it in a solo movie or as a supporting character elsewhere.
When would you like to see Nova appear in the MCU? Would you prefer Richard Rider or Sam Alexander to wear the helmet? Hell, maybe the story could use both of them and show Richard mentoring Sam. Anyway, let us know what you think in the comments below.