Nova Prime Irani Rael is set to return in the story for Epcot's first roller coaster: the backwards-launching Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind.
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Glenn Close will blast Nova Prime Irani Rael back into the universe next year, as the Oscar-nominated actress is set to reprise her role from Marvel's James Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy film series in the ride experience built around Disney World's new roller coaster.

"I'm so excited to be reprising my role as Nova Prime for an all-new attraction coming to Epcot next summer," Close said earlier this week in an official Disney Parks video preview of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind coaster. "We can't wait to see you all there to help us save the galaxy. See you soon!"

Close first debuted her leader of Xandar (and commander of the Nova Corps) in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, and the character takes up a new perch in the Wonders of Xandar "other-world" pavilion at the park's newly renamed World Discovery section. Inside, guests will "learn more about Xandarians and their advanced technologies, which they're bringing to us here on Earth — or Terra, as they call our planet," according to the Disney Parks blog.

The new ride marks the first roller coaster to open at the Florida-based resort's second theme park, which first opened in 1982. Scheduled to welcome its first riders just in time for the park's 40th anniversary, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind will include a backwards-facing launch that catapults riders into a standalone story inspired by both Guardians films.

Along the course, riders will also experience the attraction via groundbreaking vehicle technology, as the individual train cars carrying guests along the indoor coaster's track will rotate in controlled directions — as opposed to free-spinning motions as seen on Disney's former Primeval Whirl coaster at Animal Kingdom — to focus on action happening at various points of the ride.

glenn close
Glenn Close will reprise the role of Nova Prime Irani Rael in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind' coaster at Disney World.
| Credit: disney parks/ youtube

Cosmic Rewind — which replaces the old Ellen's Energy Adventure dark ride that once starred Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy — is part of Disney's massive overhaul of the Epcot property that also includes the opening of 2016's Frozen Ever After boat ride, recently opened attractions themed to both Soul and Ratatouille, a complete redesign of the park's Future World plaza, and an upcoming experience inspired by the world of Moana.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind opens in the summer of 2022 at Epcot, one year before Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 brings Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana back to theaters in May 2023.

For more on the new ride, check out the January issue of Entertainment Weekly that hits stands in December.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring Oscars analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's movies and performances.

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Guardians of the Galaxy
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  • Movie
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  • 122 minutes
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