Countdown to Chaos: Deadpool and Wolverine’s Epic Battle Against a Formidable New Adversary

Deadpool & Wolverine is scheduled for release on July 26, 2024, but Marvel Studios may have already teased the movie’s powerful new X-Men villain.

Deadpool in Deadpool & Wolverine's trailer with a Sentinel attacking in X-Men '97 episode 5

Warning: This article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 episode 5, “Remember It.”

Marvel Studios Animation’s X-Men ’97 may have already hinted at the sheer power of a terrifying new villain, who is expected to make her live-action debut in 2024’s upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine. Marvel Studios Animation’s X-Men ’97 has already adapted several iconic Marvel Comics storylines, including 1984’s Lifedeath and 1988’s Inferno, and X-Men ’97 episode 5, “Remember It”, brought another major story into the popular animated series. Set outside the main timeline of the MCU, X-Men ’97 has free rein on which stories it adapts, but the events of episode 5 could be crucial to an upcoming Phase 5 movie.

Following the finalization of Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019, Marvel Studios became able to integrate mutant characters from Marvel Comics into the live-action MCU. This also enabled the creation of X-Men ’97, reviving X-Men: The Animated Series from the 1990s, but while the animated Disney+ series goes from strength to strength, excitement is also being raised for the MCU’s X-Men debut. While Marvel Studios’ introduction of mutants has been slow, with only a few, including Ms. Marvel’s Kamala Khan and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Namor, being confirmed, the process is set to make huge progress in 2024.

X-Men ’97 Episode 5 Adapted Cassandra Nova’s Story From Marvel Comics

Marking the halfway point of the series, X-Men ’97 episode 5, “Remember It,” took inspiration from one of Marvel Comics’ most intense and destructive X-Men-focused storylines. Back in 2001, writer Grant Morrison debuted Marvel Comics’ E is for Extinction event, which saw Cassandra Nova, the mysterious sister of Professor X, take control of wild Sentinel robots and stage an attack on the mutant nation of Genosha. 16 million mutants were killed during this genocide, and this began Cassandra Nova’s long-lasting battles with the X-Men and her estranged brother. This heartbreaking storyline formed the basis for X-Men ’97’s tragic episode 5.

Cassandra Nova didn’t appear in X-Men ’97 episode 5, but the fact that Marvel Comics’ E is for Extinction was the episode’s inspiration means she may have been pulling the strings. “Remember It” saw X-Men members Magneto, Rogue and Gambit journey to Genosha to celebrate the mutant island being integrated into the United Nations, but this was cut short by an attack from a giant Sentinel. Many mutants lost their lives, including Magneto and Gambit, with the latter sacrificing himself to destroy the Sentinel, and while Cassandra Nova didn’t appear, she will soon make her debut in the MCU proper

Emma Corrin Will Appear As Cassandra Nova In Deadpool & Wolverine

The back of Cassandra Nova's head in Deadpool & Wolverine's trailer

Emma Corrin joined the cast of Marvel Studios’ Deadpool & Wolverine in February 2023, and her villainous role was confirmed in Deadpool & Wolverine’s first trailer. Emma Corrin will be portraying Cassandra Nova in the upcoming Phase 5 movie, marking the first adaptation of the terrifying Marvel Comics villain in any media. Emma Corrin’s full look as Cassandra Nova hasn’t yet been revealed, as only the back of the villain’s head can be seen in Deadpool & Wolverine’s trailer. However, Cassandra Nova’s sheer power suggests she could pose a major threat, and this could establish a connection to X-Men ’97.

Could X-Men ’97 & Deadpool & Wolverine’s Cassandra Novas Be The Same Person?

Cassandra Nova smiling in Marvel Comics

Until now, X-Men ’97 has been set outside the MCU, but episode 5 may have changed this. Not only does the Watcher’s cameo in X-Men ’97 episode 5 suggest a connection to the MCU, but it’s also possible that Deadpool & Wolverine’s Cassandra Nova may have masterminded the attack on Genosha. Perhaps Cassandra Nova is pruned by the Time Variance Authority following this devastating attack, which would explain her appearance in the Void at the end of time in Deadpool & Wolverine’s trailer. This would create strong bonds between the MCU and X-Men ’97, but could also present some problems.

If the version of Cassandra Nova seen in Marvel Studios’ Deadpool & Wolverine is the same as the one who waged war on Genosha in the animated X-Men ’97, this could mean audiences will never see the MCU’s adaptation of the E is for Extinction event. Indeed, X-Men ’97’s depiction of this storyline will already be incredibly tough to match, as the emotional gut-punch of Magneto and Gambit’s deaths won’t be forgotten soon, so Marvel Studios may avoid adapting this event again anyway. Nevertheless, it’s very possible that Deadpool & Wolverine’s Cassandra Nova could be introduced in X-Men ’97 first.

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