Earlier this week we learned that John C. Reilly had been offered a key role in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, one that would reportedly see him liaise between the earthbound S.H.I.E.L.D. organization and the spacefaring cosmic Avengers. While the initial report indicated that his role would be a human one, his character name (Rhomann Dey) is that of an alien, an alien who once led Nova Corps.
Nova Corps are the space cops of the cosmic side of the Marvel Comics universe and it was no coincidence that the Rhomann Dey name was tossed around since its long been speculated, and almost a given, that the Nova Corps would have a role in Guardians of the Galaxy. We can confirm this is the case with the latest major casting news.
Looking for more powerful female characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Deadline has the scoop that Glenn Close is joining Guardians of the Galaxy in a leadership role for Nova Corps. This is the very first casting announcement (that we know of) that's been directly tied to Nova and it's safe to assume that Marvel readers will see Richard Rider (the most popular Nova in the books who's worked alongside the Guardians) as well, if not in a main role, at least introduced.
While Thor and The Avengers introduced moviegoers to the cosmic side of the Marvel universe that studio president and producer Kevin Feige had been hoping to do for years, the mostly standalone Guardians of the Galaxy is the real first chapter that will blow the doors open and potentially launch a new and unique set of films and characters to explore onscreen. A key part of the formula is the Nova character (and Corps).
A few months ago, rumors pointed to the character (or the corps) absolutely being introduced in the film. Comic readers with a keen eye may also have noticed from the original debut Guardians of the Galaxy concept art a certain shape in the background which was the first Nova clue:
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What are those strange star-shaped objects in the skyline we wonder?
With the John C. Reilly news came word that Marvel was also looking at veteran actors Hugh Laurie, Alan Rickman and Ken Watanabe for role that would interact with Reilly's character and it's possible that same role is the one Glenn Close will take. As a leader within the Nova Corps organization we don't know for sure who Close will be playing, but it could be an amalgamation of the original Rhomann Dey character from the books (who Reilly is playing a version of) and his wife Adora, Queen of Xandar (the homeworld of the Nova Corps).
If Hitfix's scoop that Lee Pace is playing a character who turns good and is being setup for a spinoff movie of his own, it's possible that he's not playing a main villain at all and is instead playing a slightly older Richard Rider. There's lots of speculation to be had and a lot more casting additions coming in the near future since the project begins shooting in London this summer.
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange sometime after that.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes if you'd like to see a Nova!