News stemming from an article released by Movie Creed is reporting that Marvel/Netflix may add Ghost Rider to its lineup of Marvel characters. Blade and Moon Knight are also rumored to be receiving a series on Netflix as well. It's not confirmed yet, but several media outlets picked up the story, and truthfully it would make sense. Ghost Rider, starring Nicolas Cage, wasn't a failure at the box office, as the first movie had a worldwide draw of $229,545,589 total. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance released in 2012 and brought in $149,217,355 worldwide. Neither movie was a financial loss to the studio.
The dark tone of the comics also make a Netflix series the ideal home for this iconic character. Now, there are a few recommendations I would humbly make for the series as it heads towards development.
1. The new series should revolve around Dan Ketch, the second Ghost Rider
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Ketch and his sister Barbara were attacked, leaving his sister badly wounded. Dan ran and hid in a junkyard from their attackers where he found a motorcycle bearing a mystical sigil. When he touched the sigil, he became the second Ghost Rider. The Dan Ketch storyline really holds some hidden gems that could make the new series very successful. It can be a whole lot darker than the movies and create a link with Doctor Strange by using the two characters. The 2012 film Spirit of Vengeance introduced a boy fathered by Mephistopheles named Danny. If they want to follow the movie's storyline, Danny can be the new Ghost Rider as he was fathered by a demon, although I would definitely NOT recommend that angle.
For more ideas on how Netflix should handle Ghost Rider and Blade series, head over here.
2. The new series should feature Zarathos
In the 2012 film, Ghost Rider was revealed to be an incarnation of Zarathos himself, an Angel of Justice sent to protect mankind. Zarathos was tricked by the devil and sent to hell, where there the angel was corrupted and driven insane. His mission of protecting the innocent turned into punishing the guilty; as a result, he became the devil's Spirit of Vengeance. The movie has Zarathos reverting back to the angel within Ghost Rider, but they can explain that away by simply separating Zarathos from his human host and corrupting him once more, or explaining that the bike containing the sigil is a bond to a corrupted fragment of Zarathos himself that was kept away from the original Ghost Rider.
3. Bring back Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze without Ghost Rider
In the comics, Johnny Blaze eventually is separated from the Spirit of Vengeance, which could be a great way to start the new series and link the movies with the new project. They don't have to do away with Cage, but rather have him come into the series as a guide for Danny Ketch as he deals with being the new Ghost Rider. He can also explain the lore behind Zarathos, the history of the Riders, and the dangers of the devil himself. Dan Ketch is going to have to rely on someone for the background of what he has gotten himself into.
4. Introduce Mephisto in his true form
He's been played by Peter Fonda in the 2007 film and Ciaran Hinds in the 2012 film. This time, they should only portray the character in his true form through hell-visions revealed to Ghost Rider when he rides in between worlds. If they renew for a second season, they can cast an actor for the role.
5. Link the series with Doctor Strange
Ghost Rider is a supernatural being, so you can't tell his story and not introduce Doctor Strange in the series somehow. Zarathos, Mephisto, Blade, Moon Knight, possibly the Midnight Sons one day; this all opens the door to the Sorcerer Supreme entering the Netflix universe.
If you haven't seen the trailer for Marvel's Doctor Strange, here it is:
Netflix/Marvel could just say "to hell with it" and reboot the whole Ghost Rider franchise and start with a fresh face, and that's the beauty of early stage series development. We can always imagine.
In addition to Ghost Rider, series for Blade and Moon Knight have also been rumored. With Blade even having hints of a plot, and wishes for characters we could see in Moon Knight already being vocalized, let's hope Netflix and Marvel hear the fan buzz and make these shows a reality.