Marvel's Blade Could Finally Be Ghost Rider's Ticket To The MCU – Screen Rant

Marvel Studios is releasing a new Blade movie in 2023, and that easily could set up an opportunity for Ghost Rider to officially join the MCU as well.
With Marvel set to release Blade during MCU Phase 5, the movie's supernatural themes and situations could be the optimal time for Ghost Rider to be added to the franchise's roster as well. MCU Phase 4 has focused on two major areas for their content. One deals with the multiverse while the other concerns darker magical, mythological, and supernatural properties in the MCU. After WandaVision, Moon Knight and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a movie starring the vampire-hunting superhero Blade is certainly the logical next step. But the Daywalker's MCU movie has much more potential than it lets on, especially in terms of setting up other, similarly supernatural characters.
Known for having a litany of storylines that show the darker side of Marvel, Blade is a prominent figure when it comes to the realm of paranormal adventures in the comic book universe. The character became increasingly more popular thanks to the three Blade movies starring Wesley Snipes released in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which stood alone as their own franchise before the start of Marvel's expansive cinematic universe. Although the plot of the MCU's rendition of Blade starring actor Mahershala Ali has yet to be disclosed, presumably the upcoming movie could lay some groundwork for the inclusion of other figures from Marvel's darker side, including everyone's favorite Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider.
Related: Who Is Blade's Villain? Every MCU Character Theory Explained
Absent from the big screen since Nicolas Cage's last portrayal of the character in 2011, Ghost Rider is one of the many characters fans are itching to see officially join the MCU. With more and more supernatural happenings occurring in the franchise, the likelihood of Ghost Rider's introduction continues to ever grow, yet the mystical themes seen in some of Marvel's recent movies and shows are just not dark enough for the skull-headed bounty hunter. Due to the R-rated content of many of Blade's stories, it appears that his MCU movie will act as the gateway through which characters like Ghost Rider can make their way to the cinematic world of Thor, the Hulk, and the rest of the Avengers.
The idea of bringing Ghost Rider into the MCU can get a bit confusing, as there is surely the belief that he was already introduced. In 2016, his familiar flaming head appeared in season 4 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show, yet this particular Ghost Rider was not one that everyone recognizes. Rather than use the more common alias of famous daredevil Johnny Blaze (the character that Nicolas Cage played in his movies), the writers of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went with the lesser-known, younger Ghost Rider named Robbie Reyes (played by Gabriel Luna), who drives a fiery 1969 Dodge Charger rather than the character's trademark flaming motorcycle. Robbie Reyes's television outing showed promise, however, as his story also featured the existence of other Ghost Riders within that show's universe.
In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4, episode 6 "The Good Samaritan," Robbie reveals the origin of his powers, which he received from another Ghost Rider in order to save his life and take revenge on those who had wronged him. This other Ghost Rider has seemingly been confirmed as Johnny Blaze, much to the excitement of fans, yet currently there is a major dispute among Marvel officials whether Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is canon, leaving Ghost Rider's existence in the MCU up in the air. The most popular opinion, sadly, is a resounding "no," due to the number of contradictions and retcons the show has in relation to the rest of the MCU, especially in later seasons. Plus, there's a matter of Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige refusing to acknowledge the series in any way.
In the comics, Blade and Ghost Rider have shared many adventures together due to their respective lines of work in keeping the world free of paranormal scum and villainy. Granted, they don't have much in common with each other, considering one is a half-vampire who slays other vampires and the other is the vessel of a demon entity called the Spirit of Vengeance. However, their goals frequently align, and thus they have joined forces on more than one occasion. Both characters are also members of a team called the Midnight Sons, an assemblage of heroes who unite to protect the Earth from larger demonic threats. Several other Midnight Sons members have already shown up in the MCU, including Moon Knight, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, and the Punisher, though the last two are also possibly off to the side of franchise canon at the moment.
Related: Marvel Just Made Ghost Rider's MCU Debut Way More Likely
One major way that Ghost Rider could be introduced in Blade depends on the film's villain. Though the plot — and therefore the villain — is currently unknown, the movie's antagonist could very well be a shared villain of Ghost Rider. Examples would include Lilith the Mother of Demons, the darkness-manipulating Blackout, and of course Marvel's devil, Mephisto. While none of these more powerful enemies will be introduced right away, the MCU's Blade could certainly build toward their introductions, much in the way it could set up Ghost Rider.
Ever since Spider-Man: No Way Home established the concept of the multiverse, past actors who've portrayed Marvel characters outside the MCU have been allowed to reprise their old roles in this franchise, similar to how Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield returned as their respective versions of Spider-Man to star alongside Tom Holland. This obviously opens up a surplus of possibilities in terms of casting and guest appearances. If Marvel really does intend to set up or introduce Ghost Rider, they could easily look to Academy-Award-winner and former Ghost Rider actor, Nicolas Cage.
Cage might not be interested in coming back to the role considering the rather poor reception of his Ghost Rider films. Both the 2007 original and 2011 sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, did fairly well at the box office. A new actor in the role would definitely be a nice change of pace, but Cage having a chance to play Ghost Rider again is a more exciting idea, especially since his dreams of making a Ghost Rider 3 were crushed some time ago. A new filming direction from the likes of Disney would assuredly earn him some redemption after the lackluster Spirit of Vengeance. Whatever path they decide to take in terms of casting, one thing is for certain: Blade 2023 is Ghost Rider's one-way ticket to full MCU status.
Nathaniel “Nate” Johansen is a newer member to the Screen Rant family, having started in March 2022. Though this is his very first job as an entertainment journalist (with previous employments being at both a supermarket and a summer camp), he has a lot of knowledge about the industry, as he has a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Digital Media from the University of North Georgia (U.S.). While in school, he learned many skills in terms of film production such as video editing, sound recording, camera operation, directing, and, of course, writing. He has also collaborated with fellow students on the sets of several short films, one of which was a nominee for an award at the Georgia Film Festival. Nate adores all things superhero, and thus has a wealth of knowledge concerning franchises like DC and Marvel, but he also has many other ideas concerning Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, RWBY, among others. When he is not writing for Screen Rant, he enjoys playing video games, his favorite games being from Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise. He also frequently plays Dungeons and Dragons and other board games with his friends, as well as both reading and writing (clean) fan fiction. Nate hopes to one day write and produce his own television/web shows, and possibly start up his own film production company. He may have a long way to go, but he believes that his time at Screen Rant is a step in the right direction.

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