As one of the culmination films of this era in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War was filled to the brim with characters that fans were already familiar with. This abundance of established heroes didn’t allow for many new faces to come into the picture. However, it would appear that one draft of the script actually included a fan-favorite Marvel hero, and he was going to play a crucial role.
Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had various ideas in mind while developing the story, and one of them included the cosmic defender Nova. Apparently, the character would debut during a sequence that show Thanos’ attack on Xandar. He would then crash to Earth and warn the other heroes. But the two ultimately decided that it didn’t make much sense after deleting Xandar:
It was an early idea, but we just reached a critical mass of new characters, and after we got rid of the Xandar sequence, it didn't make much sense.
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s comments during ComicBook.com’s Quarantine Watch Party screening of Avengers: Infinity War aren’t the first time they spoken of Nova. The pair previously revealed that the character, but their reasoning for not using him in the final film wasn’t quite clear.
Nova’s connection to the Nova Corps was definitely an organic way to loop him into the story, though it’s understandable that Markus and McFeely decided to hold off on using him once Xandar was taken out of the picture.
Nova (Richard Rider) is a character that comic book fans have been wanting to see in the MCU for some time now. Originally introduced in 1976, Rider was chosen by Rhomann Dey to become a member of the Nova Corps. Nova has since become a staple in the Marvel Universe and has joined forces with the likes of Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy. When it comes to the big screen, many have speculated that he could make an appearance in the Guardians franchise and/or star in his own film franchise.
Guardians director James Gunn, a fan of the cosmic hero, has confirmed that Nova has been discussed at Marvel Studios. While he won’t confirm or deny Rider’s inclusion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, he has stressed that the movie will help expand the cosmic side of the MCU. In other words, Nova could still be fair game for that project or any other.
Seeing Nova show up in Avengers: Infinity War would’ve been a treat for longtime fans of the character, though Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s logic is sound. On the bright side, Nova will still have plenty of opportunities to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future.
Avengers: Infinity War will be available to stream on Disney+ on June 26.