Back in 2022, Deadline reported that Marvel was working on a project based around Richard Rider, also known as Nova. The project was to be developed with Moon Knight screenwriter, Sabir Pirzada, penning the script. Earlier this year, THR reported that Nova would be a series, likely ending up on Disney+.
A recent post by an X-Men Update account on X saw that there were some crew updates done to some upcoming Marvel projects on IMDb: including an Untitled Marvel Nova Project. One, in particular, was a standout; it listed that there was a credit listed for someone who was an assistant for Jared Padalecki. Yes, that Jared Padalecki from Supernatural (and most recently, The CW’s Walker, which he executive produces.)
Now, while it’s not a fool-proof system and other people can add credits, including fake ones, it got us thinking about how perfect Padalecki would be for the role.
Richard Rider, also known as Nova, is a member of the Nova Corps, which is an intergalactic police force that helps protect the universe. Rider is human and received his powers at random from Rhomann Dey, the last surviving Centurion of the planet Xandar’s elite Nova Corps. With his new power he is the one to succeed Dey in the rank of Nova Prime. His powers include Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, a uniform with a sealed life-support system, flying, and more, though he receives little instruction on how to use these new powers.
Nova debuted in September 1976 with The Man Called Nova #1, written by Marv Wolfman and art by John Buscema. Wolfman intended for Richard Rider to be an homage to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Peter Parker, from his humble roots, to receiving great power at random chance, and more.
It’s easy to see where Rider could fit in a modern-day Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If you’re going based on looks, it’s easy to see how Padalecki fits into the role. His tall frame is intimidating, but pretty picturesque in Marvel’s terms of superheroes. He could easily fit right in next to Marvel’s current heroes such as Captain America, Star-Lord, and more. Rider’s shaggy, brown hair is easy to match with Padalecki’s signature hair (especially more recently on Walker). He looks just like the character, which is half the battle when you’re casting.
As an actor, Padalecki is strong, and his body of work is more than impressive. While he started on WB’s Gilmore Girls, his most notable role was that of Sam Winchester on Supernatural. The 15-season-long series showcased just how much Padalecki has grown as an actor and how skilled he is. Whether he was hunting demons, or saving the world, it showed Padalecki can be both a badass and also nail monologues full of dialogue and emotion.
He also made himself a staple in the horror genre, oftentimes having to get physical in certain situations in films such as Friday the 13th (2009), Cry Wolf, House of Wax, and more. He’s no stranger to complex roles and being able to showcase all aspects of being human.
In his most recent project, Walker, he portrays a Texas Ranger which showcases, again, his badassery, but also his incredible wit, emotion, and the skillful choices he makes to bring the character to life. It’s been The CW’s number-one show in many areas, also having been one of a handful of shows renewed from the network for 2024.
His fanbase is loyal, passionate, and full of wonderful humans who have already been openly receptive to his potential addition into a superhero role. He’s proven his time that he can not only carry television shows, but films, and his fans show up.
If Marvel wants to add another great actor to its already incredible lineup, one that looks the part and comes with a built-in fanbase, it’s a no-brainer that Padalecki is a solid choice. While all of it is a rumor right now and yes, may turn out to be all false information, we can’t help but love the idea.