One of the things that makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe unique in its approach has been the ability to introduce new characters into the world and then have them crossover with various other properties. While characters like Captain America and Iron Man are mainly starring in their own films, somebody like Black Widow has made multiple appearances in different franchises. With Phase 3 underway, there are more chances than ever of getting other crossovers. Spider-Man: Homecoming will be a great example of that with Tony Stark and Happy Hogan set to appear in Tom Holland's solo film. Directly following Homecoming, Marvel Studios will unleash Thor: Ragnarok into theaters.
Taika Waititi has been tasked with directing the third Thor film and has already hinted at a potential crossover or reference to Doctor Strange, but his movie will have other MCU characters joining. Hulk is set to make his first non-Avengers appearance since Mark Ruffalo took over the role, but it appears as though Waititi had his hopes set on getting someone from Guardians of the Galaxy as well.
Waititi took part in an AMA on Reddit today and unsurprisingly, the majority of questions asked and answered were about his upcoming Thor movie. When he was asked if there was any character he wanted to include that he was not able to, he revealed his desire to have Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) from Guardians show up in some capacity. Unfortunately, that was not able to be worked out. Waititi said:
I would have liked to get John C Reilly's character in the film but there was no real way to pull it off.
A character such as Rohamann Dey would have been a great cameo appearance for Thor, Hulk, and maybe Valkyrie to come across during their travels after escaping from The Grandmaster's games. As a member of the Nova Corps, it could be logical for him to appear at some point as the group travel across the galaxy. However, it appears that there was no place in the story for Reilly to make his return to the MCU.
This will go down as merely a cool idea to connect the movie to the larger universe in subtle ways, but fans will potentially have to wait quite some time to see Dey back onscreen. James Gunn has already confirmed that he is not in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, despite the Nova Corps having a role. This likely means that Reilly is a few years away from suiting back up as a member of the Nova Corps, but fans should be happy as long as it eventually does happen. In the meantime, hopefully this line of thinking from Waititi means other MCU characters could potentially have cameos instead.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.