James Gunn’s firing has caused an untimely delay to the future of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and has also opened gates for various continuity issues, primarily for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now the question that remains is, which film will replace Guardians?
Many fans feel that a sequel to Doctor Strange will be a good choice, but this may be way too obvious. We know that a sequel to Doctor Strange is already on the cards but it’s still unclear if the film will replace Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, on the other hand, Marvel has also been knowingly or unknowingly setting up a Nova film. We initially saw Nova in Guardians Vol. 3. The upcoming Captain Marvel film will also feature Nova’s enemies, Skrulls as the villains.
All that’s missing though is Nova itself. Even in Infinity War, Thanos decimated Nova Corps and Xandar before attacking Thor’s ship. The film’s opening might sound pretty straightforward but it conveys more than you think. In the comics, Nova was similarly decimated by Thanos but Nova Centurion Rhomann Dey managed to escape before dying upon reaching Earth. He passes on the Nova Force to Richard Rider, a high school student who goes on to become the superhero, Nova.
So, it’s evident that Infinity War has already given us a backstory to this. Even in MCU, Rhomann Dey (played by John C. Reilly) could have escaped similarly and perhaps reached Rider before the snap takes place. He could also have had reached Earth later, given that both Dey and Rider survive the snap. Dey made his only appearance in the first installment of GOTG where he began as a Nova Corpsman but was eventually promoted for his efforts the fight against Ronan the Accuser.
Nova may also be used in Spider-Man: Far from Home as Rider can be introduced as Peter’s classmate who finds his secret identity eventually and asks for help. Peter may also be a good fit to Nova’s own solo film, where he can be a mentor to Rider, just like Stark was for him. Given that Spider-Man is one of the few MCU heroes who still has a secret identity, he can understand and help Nova better than anyone else.
Talking about the Guardians, Infinity War saw the deaths of the whole team except Rocket who survived. We still don’t know if all original characters will return from the dead or if Disney will use Gunn’s draft for GOtG Vol. 3.
The Galaxy currently needs new and powerful cosmic heroes and this could be the best time for Nova to step in. And well, he’s one of the best Marvel has got. Richard Rider’s story can easily fit into the timeline of MCU. The present-day circumstances (post-Infinity War events) provide the best time for a hero like Nova to be introduced.