The cosmic branch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been captained by two veteran franchises for over a decade. Both Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt will suit up for at least one more individual outing in July's Thor: Love and Thunder and next year's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but with their futures uncertain, Marvel Studios needs new blood on the space side. Brie Larson's Carol Danvers is holding down the front for now, but there are plenty of players that remain on the concept boards.
The most popular of those unused characters is Nova, an enhanced member of the Nova Corps. That intergalactic police force has been in the MCU since 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, but no iteration of the flight-based hero has been seen.
Marvel Studios was first rumored to be working on a Nova project in May 2020. Aside from rumblings of a production start date and confirmation of his impending arrival by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Nova's status has largely been unknown.
Now, progress on Richard Rider's MCU debut is moving forward in a big way.
Nova in Development at Marvel Studios
Richard Rider is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Per Deadline, Moon Knight writer Sabir Pirzada is scribing a Nova project with Marvel Studios. There is no word whether Nova will be a theatrical film or a streaming series for Disney+, although sources say the latter is "likely." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will be producing.
In the comics, Nova is a mantle assumed by numerous characters, most notably Richard Rider and Sam Alexander. Deadline's report indicates this Marvel Studios project will focus on the former.
Richard Rider's MCU Debut
Ask any Marvel Comics fan, and they'll say this is a long time coming.
Nova, and specifically Richard Rider, has been one of Marvel's most popular characters on the page for decades. First debuting in The Man Called Nova #1 in 1976, Rider's Nova has factored into major Marvel Comic events, including Annihilation and Secret Invasion, as well as his own individual runs. The core of Nova's powers are his flight and enhanced strength, but he also has the ability to absorb energy and release it in pulses and beams.
The long-time-coming vibe extends to Marvel Studios' creators as well. Avengers: Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed they originally penciled Nova in as the hero to crash through the Sanctum Sanctorum and warn Doctor Strange of Thanos's imminent arrival, but that spot ultimately went to Mark Ruffalo's Hulk.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has also noted he has "probably read 75%" of the character's comics. Kevin Feige even referred to Nova as someone who would enter the MCU with "immediate potential."
Regarding the production status of Nova, earlier rumors pointed to this project's production kicking off "sometime in 2023." With Sabir Pirzada, who is credited as co-writer on half of Moon Knight's episodes, tapped to write, Marvel Studios looks to be utilizing the remainder of this calendar year for the project's development.
Nova is one of 24 unconfirmed projects Marvel Studios is reportedly developing.