Although 2011’s Thor brought cosmic elements into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time, that corner of the superhero franchise opened up fully with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. Cut to today, characters like the Skrulls and Eternals have expanded the cosmic side of the MCU in big ways, and now a long-awaited, space-faring superhero from Marvel Comics lore is finally jumping into the mix. Get ready for the live-action debut of Richard Rider, a.k.a. Nova, one of James Gunn’s favorite Marvel characters.
Word has come in from Deadline that Marvel Studios has tapped Moon Knight writer Sabir Pirzada to tackle a Nova project. Writer Justin Kroll also mentioned on Twitter that his sources say Nova will likely only be made available to people with a Disney+ subscription, although it’s still unclear if it’s being envisioned as a movie or a limited series for the Mouse House’s streaming platform. Along with having co-written three of Moon Knight’s episodes, Pirzada has also worked on Person of Interest and Roswell, New Mexico.
Richard Rider is one of two humans who’ve held the Nova mantle in Marvel Comics mythology, the other being Sam Alexander. Introduced in 1976, Richard became Nova when Rhomann Dey, the final surviving member of the planet Xandar’s Nova Corps, chose the young man to replace him with his dying breaths. Richard inherited Dey’s Nova Centurion helmet and uniform, as well as the Nova Source, the energy that gives Corps members abilities like flight, super strength and energy projection and absorption. Although the majority of Nova’s adventures tale place elsewhere in the Marvel cosmos, he’s also seen plenty of action on Earth, including as a member of the New Warriors.
For the readers out there who don’t go deep on Marvel Comics, but do watch the MCU movies, the Nova Corps should ring a bell. The organization appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, with Glenn Close’s Nova Irani Rael, a.k.a. Nova Prime, leading the charge, as well as John C. Reilly and Peter Serafinowicz respectively playing Corpsmen Rhomann Dey and Denarian Garthan Saal. We learned in Avengers: Infinity War that Thanos ravaged Xandar during his mission to obtain the Power Stone, which had been locked in a Nova Corps vault. The Nova Corps was wiped out in the process, but the MCU’s version of Richard Rider will somehow keep its legacy alive.
Although Deadline’s report specifically mentioned Richard Rider for this Nova project, we also shouldn’t rule out the possibility that Sam Alexander could show up too. Much like what the Green Lantern Corps reboot for the DC Extended Universe is reportedly doing with Hal Jordan and John Stewart, perhaps Nova could see an experienced Richard training Sam as his Nova successor. With Hawkeye showing Clint Barton and Kate Bishop teaming up, and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder depicting Jane Foster transforming into The Mighty Thor and fighting alongside Chris Hemsworth’s Thor Odinson, it might be cool for Nova to follow in their footsteps and have Richard and Sam join forces while each holding the same mantle.
CinemaBlend will pass along any major updates about Nova’s development that trickle in. For now, the next MCU Disney+ series on the docket is Moon Knight, which premieres next Wednesday, March 30, followed by Ms. Marvel in June. The theatrical side of the MCU resumes on May 6 with the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and other upcoming Marvel movies include Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Marvels and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
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