Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have shared details of Nova’s supposed involvement in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three’s culminating movies work as a back-to-back feature tackling the arrival and eventual defeat of Thanos. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, they rounded up all key players in the universe for an epic action film – but the films were at one point also supposed to be Richard Rider’s introduction to the franchise.
Avengers: Infinity War opted to cut the destruction of Xandar and begin with Thanos already having acquired the Power Stone, which was in the Nova Corps’ possession following the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. Instead, the film was tied directly to the end of Thor: Ragnarok, which resulted in the death of many Asgardians including Heimdall and Loki. Hulk managed to escape the slaughter, and was sent to Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum to warn the Avengers of Thanos’ imminent arrival.
Apparently, this messenger role was originally going to be filled by Nova, as Markus and McFeely reveal in recent conversation with ComicBook.com. Markus, in particular, got into the specifics of what they were initially planning. And while “it would’ve been amazing,” they ultimately scrapped the idea because it didn’t feel right to introduce a new character in the cusp of bidding some of the universe’s most beloved goodbye.
“We actually had, I remember in the big manifesto thing that we did, where the first work we did on these movies where we just… every possible storyline that you could take from what’s around, that Nova has the Xandarian Worldmind Yeah, the Xandarian Worldmind, was that after… it was almost going… In this conception, he would be the herald, not unlike the Hulk, who was actually standing in for the Silver Surfer, but that one member of the Nova Corps survived Thanos’ attack. The Xandarian Worldmind would be the voice of Glenn Close, because you had her and why not? And that he would be Richard Rider and he would come to earth.”
Aside from the introduction of Rider, the said plan would’ve also included a minor cameo from Glenn Close as the Xandarian Worldmind. The veteran actress played Nova Prime, the leader of the intergalactic military and police force of the Nova Empire and someone fans haven’t seen since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. Considering what’s known about Xandar’s destruction, chances are that she met her end during her people’s battle against Thanos and his forces. Despite a relatively small role in the MCU, it would’ve been nice to hear her one last time before she effectively exited the franchise.
As cool as it would’ve been to see Nova join the fight against Thanos, it would have been too much to have him introduced in Avengers: Infinity War and possibly play an even bigger role in Avengers: Endgame. The two recent MCU ensemble movies are a culmination of everything that has transpired in the franchise in its first decade, so it only makes sense that the story solely focused on them. It’s also a mystery how Hulk’s arc would have panned out if Marvel Studios pushed forward with Nova’s original role.
More: How Thanos Can Return In The MCU’s Future