Comic Book Casting: The NOVA Animated Movie

After an relatively select crew of A-list characters, Marvel has a litany of B-list characters that could become household names given the right approach and the right medium to tell that story. For the House of Ideas’ resident space guardian, Nova would be tailro-made to expand Marvel’s movie dominance with an animated movie. Think about it: a teenager is deputized as the last dying act of a vaunted Nova corpsman and is enlisted into the space service. Mixing the brash inexperience of Spider-Man’s origin with the lofty space-faring ways of Green Lantern, albiet with less hubris and more fun.

But why not a live action movie? To make the special effects for a live-action Nova and to do it right, it would take a budget in the 100s of millions, and after the debacle that is Green Lantern you could easily assume no one’s ready to risk that. Instead, turn that negative into a positive and push Marvel into what could be it’s next major growth: animated feature films. Their parent company Disney is known for it, and with PIXAR’s ingenuity part of the mix it could be something unexpected and unparalleled.

The Concept:

As I said earlier, Nova’s origin mixes the best of Spider-Man and Green Lantern and sets a foundation for a world of stories set in space on on Earth dealing with aliens. Don’t think of the recent Green Lantern movie — think The Last Starfighter. By employing the animation medium and sleek effects as seen in the heavily-CGIed Tron: Legacy, a Nova movie could show a young American teenager having to cope with the mantle — literally — of being Nova and dealing with threats on and off his planet Earth. From zero-G training sessions on Xandar and meeting Worldmind and the Xandarian princess Adora, to being pulled back to his home planet to save it from the Sphinx, it could be a exhilarating two-hour thrill ride taking advantage of what’s possible in animation.

The Director:

Some might argue that it’d be best to bring an experienced live-action director to call the shots on this animated film, but instead I’d go with a vet: Genndy Tartakovsky. Currently working on Sony’s Hotel Transylvania movie, Tartakovsky is still best known for his epic Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory series on Cartoon Network. If you factor in his experience with space dramas and sci-fi with his work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the criminally underrated Sym-Bionic Titan, he seems built to create the first successful major action animated feature in the 21st century.

The Cast:

Nova – Jamie Bell: Bell would be well-suited for both a animated Nova as well as a live-action iteration, and despite not being an A-list actor would easily live up to the role and perhaps bring an extra sizzle to the movie by people discovering him for the first time.

Worldmind – Brad Garrett: Although he’s best known for his comedic roles such as on TV’s Everybody Loves Raymond, Garrett has a resoundingly deep voice and the chops to deliver a more patriarchal performance as the Xandarian Worldmind.

The Sphinx – Tim Curry: While Rocky Horror Picture Show and It were both stellar performances, if you think about it it’s Tim Curry’s amazingly theatrical voice that makes him who he is. Curry’s is one of the most in-demand actors-turned-voice-over artists, and could literally chew up each scene as he goes through it. Some say Mark Hamill voices the best comic book animated villains, but I think Curry could show him up and then some.

Adora – Molly Quinn: Although it’d be a slight departure from her comic book character, putting Molly Quinn as the Xandarian princess (and future warrior) Adora would be an interesting facet to the Nova movie. She’s add a touch of royalty, but also be able to impart the history of the Xandarian people and why the Nova Corps were founded. Quinn can deliver both an innocence and an experienced performance that would make her more than just the “obligatory love interest.”




  1. “Nova” would make for an AWESOME anime (a la “X-Men” and “Blade”).

  2. Oh I giggled so much when I saw Tim Curry cast as The Sphinx, because really it needs no explanation, it just is perfect.

  3. I could see this as a rival to Green Lantern the Animated Series on Cartoon Network.

  4. Ima huge Marvel fan and know next to nothing about Nova. Except for the fact that he was a Secret Avenger for about 5 minutes.

  5. Bravo.

    Slow clap.

    I would buy the DVD.

    Brilliant casting, and excellent choice of director, theme, and format.

    Well done, sir.

  6. I approve. This would be absolutely amazing!