Avengers: Infinity War included pretty much every Marvel hero out there in the MCU, with its 2 hour and 30 minute runtime squeezing in all the Avengers, Guardians and many more. So, in contrast to previous team-up movies, like Spider-Man and Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, it didn’t have room to introduce any major new heroes into the cinematic universe. This wasn’t always the case, though, as a beloved comic book character did feature in early drafts.
You may know that none other than Nova was originally set to appear in Infinity War, something that screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have revealed before. Last month, the pair took part in a watch party of the film and elaborated a little bit more on why Richard Rider didn’t end up making it into the storyline.
“It was an early idea,” say Markus via the ComicBook.com Twitter account, when asked about Nova’s ditched appearance, “but we just reached a critical mass of new characters, and after we got rid of the Xandar sequence, it didn’t make much sense.”
It was an early idea, but we just reached a critical mass of new characters, and after we got rid of the Xandar sequence, it didn't make much sense. -CM #Infinitywar #QuarantineWatchParty https://t.co/vuaq4kyt3C
— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) April 27, 2020
The Xandar sequence Markus is referring to was the original opening of Infinity War – Thanos’ attack on Xandar in order to claim the Power Stone. In the film itself, this is only alluded to, but initial drafts depicted the Mad Titan’s forces destroying the Nova Corps, setting up Earthling Rider becoming the only bearer of the Nova Force, as per the comics. But like Markus says, it ended up getting cut for time.
The set-up for Rider’s debut is still there in the movie, though, so a Nova film seems inevitable. It’s known that Marvel is working on getting him into the MCU somewhere, with a solo vehicle in some stage of development. It doesn’t appear to be a top priority for the studio at the moment, though, and it seems more likely that they’ll try to sneak him into another movie first to test the waters. In another timeline, however, he’d already have debuted in Avengers: Infinity War.