One of the most popular characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first televised foray, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna), better known as the Ghost Rider. Fans quickly latched onto his portrayal of Robbie Reyes and he became one of the show's most beloved characters.
His popularity has left some wondering if Marvel would ever delve deeper into the Ghost Rider's legacy, since the character's lore is full of stories worth telling. And if it were up to Luna, not only would he confront the original Rider, #JohnnyBlaze, but the latter would be portrayed by none other than #NormanReedus.
When Riders Meet
As reported by OmegaUnderground during their coverage of the 2017 Phoenix Comicon, Luna revealed in a panel that his ideal casting choice for Johnny Blaze would be Norman Reedus, who is best known as Daryl Dixon in AMC's The Walking Dead. He was keeping mum about the rumored Ghost Rider solo series, but he mentioned that would love to join the Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung) in a Thunderbolts adaptation if it ever happens.
Coupled with his talent of turning the most hardened characters into compelling fan favorites, Reedus also has an interest for motorcycles, making him an ideal casting choice for Johnny Blaze. If that wasn't enough, Reedus even hosts the series Ride With Norman Reedus, a TV show that examines American biker culture on AMC.
And to top it all off, he would love to give Johnny Blaze a shot. When asked by Uproxx if he would be willing to play Johnny Blaze should Marvel ever offer him the chance to star in a Ghost Rider reboot, he was quick to jump on board, saying:
"Hell yeah. It [the 'Ghost Rider' reboot] would be a blast. Do I get a skull face that’s on fire and all that stuff? Fuck yeah. I’m down."
The Riders' Complicated Legacy
In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "The Good Samaritan," Robbie Reyes reveals that the Ghost Rider gave him his powers after he made a pact to save his brother and exact fiery vengeance on those who killed him. Even though fans were quick to recognize the Rider as Johnny Blaze, his name was never mentioned in the show due to legal issues.
Back in 2013, Marvel successfully regained the rights to characters that were owned by 20th Century Fox at the time. The returning characters included Daredevil, the Punisher and of course, the Ghost Rider. For reasons that are yet to be disclosed, Marvel apparently can't use the name of Johnny Blaze, even if the studio legally owns the Ghost Rider character. Either that, or Marvel has some plans for Johnny Blaze that are being kept under wraps.
Johnny Blaze was portrayed by Nicolas Cage in two Ghost Rider movies; though not commercial flops, both films underperformed and any plans for more were dropped. That, and Cage's portrayal of the character has since become a meme and a goldmine of unintentional humor.
Johnny Blaze is integral to the Ghost Rider mythos, and with the character's resurgence in popularity thanks to Gabriel Luna's role, there's no better time to bring back the original Ghost Rider.
Casting Norman Reedus as Johnny Blaze may be a bit of a tall order at the moment, but given his enthusiasm to portray the character and Marvel's knack for great casting choices, who knows what the future may hold for Johnny Blaze's live-action return.
Do you want to see Norman Reedus portray Johnny Blaze in the future?