The MCU May Have Cast a Terrifying X-Men Villain You’ve Never Heard Of

Our merc with a mouth could be in way over his head.

Brianna Hildebrand, Ryan Reynolds, and Stefan Kapicic in Deadpool
20th Century Studios

As Deadpool 3 prepares to dive into Marvel’s multiverse, its roster of heroes and villains steadily grows. The identities of several cast members have already been revealed, but one mystery remains. It’s been months since The Crown star Emma Corrin was tapped as Deadpool 3’s mystery villain, but there’s still no confirmation as to who they’ll be playing in the film. Speculation abounds, of course, but Marvel Studios are keeping details under wraps for now. One rumor is starting to gain major traction, however, and it could tie Deadpool to one of the most terrifying X-Men villains in history.

Per CanWeGetSomeToast, Corrin has been cast as Cassandra Nova. The character is a relatively new addition to Marvel Comics. She debuted in New X-Men #114 in 2001, and she’s made a devastating impact in the comics in that time. In a way, Nova is the evil twin sister of Charles Xavier, but her origins are a bit more complicated than that. Nova is actually a mummudrai, a kind of psychic entity prone to hijacking the bodies of its hosts. Nova was conceived alongside Xavier in his mother’s womb, and her extraordinary psychic powers enabled her to fashion a body from Xavier’s own DNA. Xavier, however, grew aware of her presence and tried to kill her with a psychic blast. As a result, Nova was stillborn — but her mind actually lived on.

Nova brings a reckoning to the Marvel Universe in X-Men: Red (2018).

Marvel Comics

Nova spent years plotting revenge against Xavier and building herself a new body. She “grew up” hating her brother and all he stood for, so that hatred eventually extended to all mutantkind. When she finally manifested in the physical plane, she wasted no time trying to undo all the work Professor X had done to advance mutant rights ... and she largely succeeded. Nova outed the X-Men to the world, took over Xavier’s body, and massacred millions of mutants before Xavier’s students could defeat her. She’s returned to the comics time and time again to wreak havoc and make life extremely difficult for mutants.

Nova is one of the X-Men’s most terrifying and ruthless adversaries, second only to villains like Magneto and Apocalypse. That she could be the villain in Deadpool 3 says a lot about the threat level that Deadpool and Wolverine might face. Nova is impossibly powerful and surprisingly keen on genocide — more than that, she can’t even be killed — so her introduction would majorly shift the balance of power in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.

Could Emma Corrin be playing a younger variant of Cassandra Nova?

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

It’ll be interesting to see how Deadpool 3 adapts such a complex cosmic character for film. There’s also the difference in age between Nova and Corrin: Nova is always depicted as a bald older woman, the female counterpart to Xavier in every way. If the rumors are true, Marvel would be aging the character down significantly, maybe to allow Corrin to return in future Marvel projects. For now, this is all just speculation, but Nova would certainly be an interesting villain to bring into the multiverse.

Deadpool 3 hits theaters on November 4, 2024.

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