The Marvel Comics universe is filled with multiple interesting heroes, villains, and anti-heroes of all sorts. And though some of the fans’ favorites are prominent in the Marvel Cinematic Universe adaptations, some others are seen as underappreciated. That can be considered the case with Ghost Rider.
Loved by stars from Norman Reedus to Keanu Reeves, Ghost Rider is a character whose official MCU debut is long overdue, despite already having a brief appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even his own movies.
There are three main incarnations of the fiery motorcyclist: Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, and Robbie Reyes. All three of them have appeared in Marvel video games and animated series, including the X-Men animated series in the 1990s and, most recently, tactical RPG Midnight Suns. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Blaze and Reyes were portrayed by Tom McComas and Gabriel Luna, respectively.
Luna was set to reprise his role as Robbie Reyes in a 2020 Hulu series about that incarnation of the character, to be called Marvel’s Ghost Rider. By the end of 2019, the streaming service had announced it wasn’t moving forward with the production. And now, with the upcoming Midnight Sons and the constant teasing of his archenemy Mephisto, it seems like the perfect time to be excited about the character again.
Back in 2007, however, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was barely starting, Sony Pictures was doing something else with a few characters, including Ghost Rider.
Ghost Rider (2007)
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil, Elektra), the movie stars Nicolas Cage, another fan of the character, as the Johnny Blaze incarnation of Ghost Rider, with Peter Fonda as his archenemy Mephisto. Development began in 2000, facing several changes along the way and eventually reaching theaters in 2007. But the result was panned by critics, even earning a Razzie nomination for Cage’s acting.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
Despite being relatively successful at the box office, the first Ghost Rider movie was so badly received that many wondered why it had a sequel at all. It was still somewhat popular at first, but reviews were overwhelmingly negative — and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was nominated for two Razzies, doubling the nominations of its predecessor. Not even Nicolas Cage himself wanted in on a potential threequel, and the rights for the character returned to Marvel only two years later.
After these two titles, fans are eager to see what Marvel plans for the character, and if the studio is finally doing the Ghost Rider some justice.