‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’: Will Dan Ketch Replace Johnny Blaze?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated June 13th, 2014 at 10:02 am,

Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance Johnny Blaze vs. Dan Ketch Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Will Dan Ketch Replace Johnny Blaze?

One glance at the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance trailer will tell you that this sequel/reboot to the (inexplicably) popular 2007 comic book adaptation isn’t going to be the most thought-provoking flick ever made. That said, a couple of details from the plot and casting of the film have in fact provoked a question from our wondering minds here at Screen Rant: will this new film follow in the steps of the Ghost Rider comic books by having a new character take up the Ghost Rider mantle?

If you’re not a Ghost Rider comic book aficionado, allow us to give you some background: The first Ghost Rider movie followed the comic book mythology in the sense that a stunt performer named Johnny Blaze (Nic Cage) makes a deal with a demon named Mephisto (Peter Fonda) to save his father from cancer. As with most demonic deals, there’s a double-cross: Johnny’s father is saved from the cancer, but dies soon after in a motorcycle crash. The comics and movie then diverge insofar as the details, but the bottom line in both cases is that Johnny’s soul is bound to a demonic entity, transforming him into the Ghost Rider.

In the late ’80s/early ’90s era, the powers of the Ghost Rider passed to a young man named Dan Ketch, who gained his supernatural alter-ego from a mystical motorcycle he found in a junkyard while he and his sister were fleeing from a gang attack. The Ketch version of Ghost Rider would continue through the 2000s – though the mythology gets seriously convoluted along the way (Ketch dies and is resurrected a few times, more Ghost Riders appear and disappear, Blaze and Ketch are revealed to be brothers, etc…).

The movie Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance takes place years after the first film, and finds Johnny Blaze (Cage) hiding out in Eastern Europe trying to rid himself of the curse that afflicts him. The plot thickens when he is approached by a warrior monk (Idris Elba) who employs the Ghost Rider’s aid to stop Satan (Ciarán Hinds) from using a young child as his human vessel. That young child’s name? Danny Ketch.

Danny Ketch in Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Will Dan Ketch Replace Johnny Blaze?

Fergus Riordan as Danny Ketch in 'Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance'

Now, this an easy puzzle to put together: Johnny Blaze is tired of being the human vessel for a demon, Satan needs a human vessel to take human form, Danny is a prime candidate to be said vessel (for whatever reason) – ergo, a third act “twist” results in Danny being wounded in some way, and Blaze infuses him with the Rider demon in order to save his life. Are we certain this is the case? No. Is there a good chance it is? Yes – for several reasons:

  1. The themes and character arcs of this second film are setup in a way that would logically end in a new Rider being crowned, and Blaze being freed from his curse.
  2. The presence of “Danny Ketch” in the film is not just random. If the proverbial MacGuffin was meant to be “some kid in peril,” why bother using that name, if not to set up a ‘pass the torch’ scenario?
  3. Nic Cage has done two Ghost Rider movies, but odds that he’d be game for a third are pretty low. He isn’t getting any younger…
  4. While a considerable portion of moviegoers will see this flick out of Nic Cage loyalty, some fresh blood in the lead role would likely bring a larger demographic back to the fold.

As far as I’m concerned, passing the hellfire torch from Johnny Blaze to Dan Ketch would be a good move for the powers behind Ghost Rider 2 to make. I’ve never really been a fan of Cage’s zen master/jelly bean-eating approach to Johnny Blaze, and despite some creatively-designed action sequences, I don’t think I’ll walk away a fan of Neveldine and Taylor’s bullet-spitting, fire-pissing version of the character, either.

Dan Ketch as Ghost Rider Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Will Dan Ketch Replace Johnny Blaze?

While a child version of Dan Ketch is wholly unnecessary, and the circumstances that turn him into the Rider will likely be flimsy (if it goes down how it seems it will go down), all might be forgiven if this franchise gets a truly fresh start at some point in the future (preferably in the hands of Marvel Studios…but not likely).

Then again, this speculation – while logical – could be proven false by ineptness of the filmmakers, should it turn out that they threw Dan Ketch into the film as an Easter egg, or ‘just for fun.’ It could also be thwarted should Spirit Vengeance follow in the footsteps of its predecessor by somehow making a ton of money at the box office…even if it’s a bad film. (The first Ghost Rider made $228 million worldwide despite being trashed by critics. Go Figure.)

What do you guys think – will we see Danny Ketch become the new Ghost Rider, or is this all some inane coincidence? To help make up your mind, check out the Spirit of Vengeance trailer below:

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will be in theaters (2D and 3D) on February 17, 2012.

Header Image by Marc Silverstri

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  1. I think you may be right, Kofi. And I also agree that this brand would do better in the hands of Marvel. While I did somewhat enjoy the first GR, it’s hard to ignore its flaws. It will be interesting to see how much this new film will make.

    • I’m honestly tired of all these second rate attempts to use Marvel’s franchises. (yes I consider XMFC to be second rate because of the hack job they had to do with the canon to make it work). I wish all the movie studios would just willingly relinquish their rights so we can see if Marvel can do a better job with their own properties.

      And the only “good” part of GR was Sam Elliott as the original Ghost Rider. I really loved the look and leaving burning horseshoe tracks. :)

      • Should Marvel than give back the money they recieved for selling the rights to all these characters? If the the other movie studios just willingly relinquish their rights I mean.

  2. The film makes are using Blackheart but didn’t read anyting about him in the comics. they just assumed he was like ghostrider.

    so I don’t trust they are using ketch as anything other than “hey look, a name from the comics1″

    • I tend to agree Shadow.

  3. its actually the same as batman beyond don’t you think

  4. It doesnt help that Danny is like 11 in this movie…..

  5. I’m just hoping Johnny Blaze doesn’t turn out to be the cool one while Ghost Rider is at times reduced to a laughing act like the first movie,that voice and laughter was too damn cartoony at times for my taste.

  6. Nic Cage: terrible. Did I mention he’s a terrible actor?

    • nic cage isn´t a terrible actor,but for g.r, i.m.o he is the wrong choice! with a younger actor they would play better. sometimes,i don´t understand the directors.

      • i used to like cage as an actor, but now it just seems that he takes any role he possibley can regardless of the film. example: drive angry. but i guess being in dept with the gov’t is a good excuse :P

        • I thought Drive Angry was great 70′s movie nostalgia. In other words it made you say WTF did I just watch.

    • I stand by my non humble take. Terrible. GR stank.

    • that is a horribal thing to say

  7. but this Danny is too young pass the torch to a young kid to ride the hellcycle will look odd to be honest

  8. Itd be cool if they did use that plot idea. from the looks of it, danny ketch seems to be the perfect/chosen host for a demonic vessel, hence the devil wanting him. a great climax would be to prevent the devil from taking danny as a host, the ghost rider demon (zarathos) gets bonded to danny instead, thus freeing blaze then they could continue the franchise with a teen actor and set it a few years down the road from this one and have a whole new crop of stories to work with a new actor without technically recasting blaze. tid be a smart move actually (hence why it prob wont happen :/ )

    • That would be the best case scenario. If they do pull the passing of the torch move it’ll solve two problems; having a sudden actor swap for the threeboot / “Incredible hulk” treatment(which is so popular nowa days) and brink back the movie goers who choose to skip ANYTHING Mr.cage is leading in (I personally like the guy). But if they do a time jump for the possible next installment I hope he plays the mentor role. Nic shines brightly in supporting roles like in kick ass.

  9. I always thought that Nick Cage would have made a better Dan Ketch than Johnny Blaze. Ketch never was the hero type in the beginning, and Cage’s kinda goofy style would have fit a little better.

    Blaze was a biker and a bad ass. Maybe Vin Diesel in a wig?

    Personally, I’m hoping that they make a movie with Vengeance. I loved that character.

    • If Cage were twenty years younger, he could play Ketch, seeing as how Ketch was Blaze’s younger brother.

  10. If this one takes place “years” after the first, then why couldn’t the third take place “years” after this? Then the kid would be old enough…

    • Exactly. Just have something in the plot indicating that “The Rider will take take form once he comes of age” or something similar.

    • that’s what i was thinking.

  11. Hmmm

  12. But arent Kane Noble and Zarathos to different riders?

    • You’re absolutely right. Ketch’s Rider is from a family curse/heritage. Blaze’s is Zarathos, a demon. There isn’t a whole lot of difference, physically or aesthetically. But it’s not as if the studio cares. It was kind of a cheap way to give the GR label to another character, because readers were tired of Blaze.

      • Kale was their ancestor that was basically locked out of heaven and hell due to a both sides wanting him. It was agreed that he would remain in limbo until called upon by an ancestor. When Dan Ketch touches the medallion of Power during a ninja attack, Kale is summoned and Ketch becomes the rider.

        Zarathos is a powerful demon that Mephisto keeps butting heads with. One of the ways to keep him down was to bond him with John Blaze, (who also possesses a peice of the medallion of Power), making him the Ghost Rider.

        Michael Badilino witnessed his father kill his family and then commit suicide due to the effects of Zarathos. Wanting revenge, he makes a deal with Mephisto to gain the power to stop the Ghost Rider. Mephisto activates the piece of the Medallion of Power that is inside him, making him into Vengeance. I don’t think that they name the spirit that is in him, other than calling it Vengeance.

        Blaze and Ketch are brothers, and I seem to remember that Badilino was also related somehow, since both he and his sister had the two remaining pieces of the Medallion of Power within them, but I’m not finding any supporting evidence now. So, whether or not there was a curse (I think that the comics went back and forth calling it an actual curse, or something else), the family was pretty much screwed…

    • John Blaze was bonded to Zaraathos, Ketch was bonded with Noble Kale (who was both of their ancestors as Blaze and Ketch are brohers)

      There was also Vengeance, the name of the spirit that possessed Michael Badilino when he made a deal with Mephisto in order to gain the power to stop Ghost Rider (the ketch version) whom he mistakenly thought was Zatrathos.

  13. I doubt Danny will get the curse. That’s just an awkward way to set up another film; putting Ghost Rider into a pre-teen. I think the deal will be that he saves the kid and, as a reward, the monks agree to use some sort of relic or ceremony to free him. Considering the first film was actually successful, they’ll probably go the lone hero route and say he refuses, instead deciding to “own this curse” as he said in the first film. So storyline-wise it’ll be the same movie again, except swapping Roxanne for a kid. This is going to be a crap movie, anyway. So if not seeing it means Marvel gets a shot at it five years from now, I’m willing to withold my ticket money and wait for the Redbox to watch the Rider in action.

    Give us a REAL Ghost Rider film. Give him a personality, like he actually had in the comics. Give Blaze (or Ketch) a dialogue with the spirit. It’s not “just hunger” like they say in the movie. The spirit is compelled to avenge the innocent, and actually questions his existence often. And give us a stoic, thinking Rider, too. Neveldine and Taylor seemed like they had the right idea when they described him as a “nightmare.” He is; he’s terrifying. But I don’t think they can see the thin line between ‘badass’ and ‘cartoon.’

  14. Well, I don’t know…will he “Ketch fire”?

  15. It would make sense to have Danny so young *if* they have a third film. I think it was said that this film wasn’t going to involve another origin, so it may be we won’t yet see the second spirit who had been associated with the ancester Noble Kale til later, though I wonder if we may see a classic case of mistaken identity done in the best of Marvel tradition.

  16. Whatever happens in the film, I’d like to point you that at the very least this is a very well made trailer.

  17. Whatever happens in the film, I’d like to point you that at the very least this is a very well made trailer

  18. Whatever happens in the film, id like to point you that at the very least this is a very well made trailer

  19. Some time ago I looked up the meaning of the name Kale and found an historical reference to a Christian soldier who had been a major force to be reckoned with during the Crusades. Though the source was brief and didn’t mention it, I found myself wondering if this soldier could have been been an associate of Viad the Impaler. They *did* film on location at the very castle of the real life person who had been the inspiration for the fictional Dracula, and I believe Cage was quoted as wanting a DaVinci Cole theme for this film.

    The name Kale, BTW, besides meaning “free man” also means “son of” this other soldier (whose name has escaped me for now, as I haven’t been able to find this reference on the internet since).

    Hmmmm…. Just what are you up to Mr. Cage?

  20. some people over analyise films. I just take a film for what it is entertainment. I see no point in comparing a film with a book/comic/etc. is it entertaining yes or no.
    This looks good. Simples!

    • yes!i am not alone,phil!

  21. And in the trailer Ghost Rider is shown having normal flames and blue flames would this be a merging of the two ghost riders for movie purposes? Also anyone says that the laughing in the last one was to much like a cartoon if you so that in relief would you still think that?

    • opps meant to say if you saw that in real life you wouldnt think that.

  22. Ok, so after reading through the many comments, I ve come to the conclusion that many people have no idea about Ghost Riders comic book history , which is fine seeing how this is the movie version and the directors like to take their own visons and impart them on our heroes or anti heroes for this character. That said I could see the passing of the torch for this character and it being done in a matter that would be good for the franchise, First off Ketch being chased down so that satan can take over his body for a vessel works fine as a starting point, Blaze gets involved to both protect the innocent and piss of Satan. The fight for the kid goes on and Blaze sacrifices himself in the end protecting the kid and also breaking his own curse. The movie ends with Blaze being seperated from the Rider, and Ketch safe, however both still being tainted by the Spirit of Vengeance. After credit scence starts 5 years later and Ketch now 16 or 17 running through a Junk yard stumbles across an old Motorcycle, when his hand touches the gas cap the bike comes to life, Ketch’s eyes glow and the screen goes dark.
    A sequel could still have Cage in it, and carry over the Midnight Sons story line, which had the cooler, hellfire shotgun weilding Blaze, who comes back to help Ketch learn to control the Rider.

  23. Oh my god…what if Danny turns into Ghost Rider at the end of the movie or something and he’s like 11 instead of like 20 something?

    • You say that like it’s a bad thing… ;)

  24. Personally, while I’ll go see this, I would like to actually see an adaptation of Trail of Tears with one stipulation: Garth Ennis, and only Garth Ennis, must write the screenplay.

  25. Point well taken, Phil, though my idea of entertainment *is* to have a good story. Even the look of the Ghost Rider will get old for me if they don’t pay attention to what they’re doing. The movie francise is a chance to either retell the story or begin a new one. This is why I’m so happy to see Nic Cage as Johnny Blaze, cause he’s been a fan for so long. That’s more important to me than an actor who simply looks like Blaze. The last thing I want to see is a story that looks like it’s being made up every step of the way.

  26. ok,ok so i see majority of the critcisms for the GR movies to be nick cage hage..which is ridiculous he’s a great actor now he did have a few trip ups in GR but it still sold like crazy. and for those mad that it didn’t follow the story word for word..which story exacty?! every comic character has tons of adaptations why can’t the films just be another adaptation amongst many that already exist…

    why the heck don’t people tell Nolan “FOLLOW THE COMICS!!” (Who trained batman?) hyporcrites man…

    • I personally don’t care if a film follows the comics or not. I just look at them as “Alternate Reality” stories (that have been told all the time in the comics). As long as they keep the essence of the character, then it really shouldn’t matter.

      • That’s just what I’ve been trying to say. A good tale tends to get better with the re-telling, and if it’s a new tale altogether at least keep it consistant. What they managed to do with the Spider-man franchise was to streamline the same story with just enough changes to make sense of the main idea. It was the original Spider-man saga in a nutshell and it did wonders at the boxoffice, because it had the heart of what made that storyline work. Lack of this sense of story was precisely why that old live action tv series adaptation of spider-man didn’t work. There’s a whole lot more to it than just the look.

  27. Quelqu’un aurait pas une photo de l’acteur qui fait danny car sa serai bizarre devoir un acteur de 40 ans qui a une voix d’enfant

  28. I am a real gost rider …… plzzzzzz context me …..

    indian . ..