The next big Marvel project set for Disney Plus is taking the MCU back to space with Richard Rider, better known as the superhero Nova, at long last joining the blockbuster franchise.
As reported by Deadline, details of whether the Nova project will be a limited series or a feature film are yet unknown, however, it is being made specifically for Disney Plus. Going off Marvel's recent history, it would seem more likely to be a six-part series, though that's purely speculation.
What has been confirmed is that it will be written by Moon Knight scribe Sabir Pirzada with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige producing, as always. Created in 1976, Richard Rider is a regular teenager who is gifted superhuman powers by Rhomann Dey, the last surviving member of the intergalactic police force known as the Nova Corps.
Marvel often likes to introduce or hint at upcoming characters in shows and movies ahead of time, whether that be referenced directly, subtle hints in the backdrop or a cameo via a post-credits scene. So, what about Nova? Where could Richard Rider first appear in the MCU?
The most obvious is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Filming is currently underway and would be the perfect opportunity to either introduce the character, or more likely hint at Rider's appearance in some way.
Why Guardians? The Guardians have been most associated with the planet Xandar – remember the planet with Glenn Close and John C. Reilly – although, it was destroyed by Thanos at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War (something we never saw onscreen). The destruction of the planet fits in perfectly with the original comicbook run too. Guardians Vol. 3 is not due until May 5th, 2023 so this feels like a real possibility.
Nova is also known for team-ups with Spider-Man and Thor. With Sony still having complete control over Spider-Man and the character being Earth-based (for the most part), this seems less likely. Thor, on the other hand, is a possibility with Thor: Love and Thunder due out in July this year. While an appearance from the character is clearly out of the question (no casting news as of yet), would it be impossible for Marvel to sneak in a reference? Either way, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Interestingly, director Joe Russo previously stated (via Wired) that Richard Rider was present during the final battle in Avengers: Endgame before having to walk his comments back. Obviously, Feige and co. must have had bigger plans for Nova.
The next MCU project on Disney Plus will be Moon Knight starring Oscar Isaac on March 30th. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with Benedict Cumberbatch reprising his role as the Sorcerer Supreme is then the next film to hit theatres on May 6th, 2022.