Who Is Cassandra Nova? What To Know About The ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Villain

Emma Corrin as Cassandra Nova in Deadpool and Wolverine

We already knew that actor Emma Corrin would be taking on the role of Deadpool & Wolverine villain Cassandra Nova in the upcoming MCU flick. But thanks to the latest trailer for the movie, we now have our first really good look at the bald baddie. But who is Cassandra Nova from Marvel Comics? And what about Emma Corrin, the actor who plays her?

Great questions. Great questions. Honestly, the best questions I’ve ever heard in my life. And we’re going to answer them here as simply as possible. Because not only could we go down an endless rabbit hole of X-Men lore if we wanted to, but frankly, that’s not important. Despite appearances, our best guess is that as usual with the MCU, things will be heavily smoothed out and simplified for theatrical audiences.

Yes, the Deadpool & Wolverine trailer is chock-full of Easter eggs and references… From a hollowed-out Ant-Man skull to some X-Men movie villains past, to connections to Loki and even Doctor Strange. But at the same time, those are for the fans. As director Shawn Levy has said, “I’m not making small films for my own satisfaction in a room alone, I’m making it to connect to the biggest audience possible.”

So consider this your broad strokes intro to Cassandra Nova, and why she’s the perfect villain for the upcoming movie.

Who Is Cassandra Nova From Marvel Comics?

Cassandra Nova

Created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in 2001’s New X-Men #114, the absolute simplest way of explaining Cassandra Nova is she’s Charles Xavier’s evil sister. There’s a lot more to it we’ll get into in a second. But she has all the powers of Xavier and more so, having trained herself to access the full spectrum of abilities Xavier had yet to master in the comic books.

Fans of X-Men ’97 might be interested to know that Nova was first introduced activating a series of Wild Sentinels. She sent them to obliterate the island nation of Genosha. While things didn’t play out directly that way in the series, Nova was the one behind the attacks in the comics.

If you want a much more complicated answer… Nova in the comics was a Mummudrai, a collection of malignant cells created in the astral plane that Xavier was forced to kill in the womb. Those cells continued to survive powered by hate alone and grew on a sewer wall into a near copy of Xavier; albeit female.

Like I said, I don’t think you need to know any of that. She’s Xavier, but bad.

Why Is Cassandra Nova The Villain In Deadpool & Wolverine?

Deadpool and Wolverine Ant-Man head X-Men cameos

This part is speculation having not seen the movie. But based on the trailer, it looks like Nova is operating out of that Ant-Man skull. And there are a variety of X-Men bad guys guarding the entrance. We don’t have confirmation of the actors playing them yet. But it does look like from the tiny glimpse that we’ve got Toad (Ray Park) from X-Men, Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu) from X2, Azazel (Jason Flemyng) from X-Men: First Class, and a few more. We’ve already seen Pyro (Aaron Stanford) in the first teaser trailer. So chances are we’ve got a cadre of X-Men movie bad guys returning for Deadpool & Wolverine.

There are three possibilities here. The first is that this is all taking place in The Void, the place where discarded parts of the multiverse are thrown away by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) from the first season of Loki. The second is “we don’t know.”

The third is the most popular theory. As established in the trailer, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is from a universe where everyone he knew and loved died… And that is this universe is based in part on the plot of Old Man Logan. While that comic book was already partially adapted for Logan, little bits like the Ant-Man skull and a row of large tombstones seem to back up that theory. In the book by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, Logan is brainwashed by Spider-Man villain Mysterio. He ends up killing nearly every hero on Earth. The prevailing theory here is: same thing, but Cassandra Nova did it, making this very personal for Wolverine.

Regardless of how closely Deadpool & Wolverine is hewing to Old Man Logan, though — and I suspect given they’re in a desert area, and that same desert area seems to have an extremely meta 20th Century Fox logo crashed into it, this is actually The Void — Nova fits… Because the whole theme seems to be “cast-offs.” Wolverine has lost his entire universe. Deadpool has finally found a family, and it seems to be taken away from him by the TVA. All those X-Men villains? Dispatched in previous X-Men movies. And Cassandra Nova, I assume you read the above. Whether they go “she’s a bunch of malignant cells!” route or not, the off-brand sister of Professor Xavier has a nice tie into that theme, too.

Who Is Emma Corrin? What To Know About The Actor Playing Cassandra Nova:

Emma Corrin, who uses they/them pronouns, is probably best known for portraying Princess Diana in the fourth season of Netflix’s The Crown. Nerds might known them better as Esme Winikus from the first season of Pennyworth. Recently they starred as Darby Hart on Hulu’s A Murder at the End of the World.

Movie-wise, Corrin appeared as Lady Chatterley in the 2022 version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and as Marion Taylor in My Policeman, aka the Harry Styles gay romance movie. Coming up, they’ll appear as Anna Harding in Robert Eggers’ wild-sounding Nosferatu remake.

Corrin is on Instagram where they have 849k followers, and seem to be very excited about Deadpool & Wolverine.

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