With Kevin Feige taking over all aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the TV shows, alongside the rumors that he wants to fold Ghost Rider back into this world, it's clear that we could be seeing a version of this horror character very soon.
We've already seen a couple of different iterations of Ghost Rider on screen. We've had the original Nicholas Cage films, as well as a few versions of the character appear in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If the head honcho over at Marvel really did bring back Ghost Rider, there's a number of ways that this could be done. We're exploring 10 of them in this list!
10 AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
The easiest way to bring this character back is by simply taking the version from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The main version in the TV show is Robbie Reyes. This is also the version of the character that was going to get a Hulu series before the plug was pulled.
There is a suggestion here that the series idea was stopped so that Robbie Reyes could make his way to the films and wider MCU. This would be a smart move as he's already beloved by fans and the character is very fresh. He's cool, looks great and there's already a perfect actor linked to the role.
9 10,000,000 BC GHOST RIDER
Alternatively, Marvel could do a deep dive of their history and establish some characters before we even knew they existed in the universe. There's every possibility that the MCU creates its own version of the 10,000,000 BC Avengers, of which Ghost Rider was a part of.
This original Ghost Rider was a young boy who was possessed by the spirit of vengeance. He had all the same abilities as normal Ghost Riders but there was a twist. This young boy lived in the prehistoric era and actually rode a woolly mammoth into battle! This could be a version that might be introduced if we ever see the Savage Land.
8 BRAND NEW VERSION
Marvel could take creative licence with the character as they have done in the past. They could take their universe and form a version of Ghost Rider that fits into what they've already created. There would be nothing wrong with this and could avoid some fan backlash.
However, it's difficult to know what direction they would go with a unique Ghost Rider. They'd have to create a character that makes sense for this world. If they are not using a version established in the comics then there needs to be a very clear reason for this; although it could be an interesting path to take.
Feige may really like the idea of having the Robbie Reyes version in the universe but may want to recast so that a bigger actor can take over the role. This of course isn't unprecedented with actors both becoming recast in the MCU as well as holding multiple roles.
This idea wouldn't win over any fans though. If Marvel choose to use Robbie Reyes they would probably have to go with the TV version. A recast would be insulting to both the actor and fans and would also suggest that the TV shows aren't actually a part of this larger world.
6 TV LINK
In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. there is a secondary Ghost Rider set up. When we see the origins of Robbie Reyes it is implied that the traditional Johnny Blaze incarnation of Ghost Rider, is the person who comes to him after his near death experience.
This groundbreaking scene means that there is a Johnny Blaze out there somewhere in the MCU. But we are never given a cast member attached to this role. It would be really easy to cast a Johnny for the MCU therefore and say that this is the same character that could be seen in the TV show. It seems like the easiest solution.
5 NICHOLAS CAGE
Everyone is probably aware of the Nicholas Cage version of Ghost Rider by now. Two films were produced by Columbia Pictures and the second one is certainly more loved than the first. The portrayal was certainly different but maybe this is what the MCU needs.
It would be pretty unprecedented but what if Feige brought back Nicholas Cage as Ghost Rider. Of course, he doesn't have to be as Johnny Blaze so that it's not a direct connection to these films, but it would be fun to see the veteran actor as another version of the spirit of vengeance.
4 COSMIC GHOST RIDER
Recently the Cosmic Ghost Rider has been a huge part of the comics. He's a really fun and different interpretation of the character and one that stands out compared to past versions. There's certainly a space for him within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With an Earth based Ghost Rider already established in the universe, there's no reason we can't jump to a Cosmic type already. There's plenty of cosmic MCU films coming up and any one of them could feature this character in all his glory.
3 ESTABLISHED CHARACTER
A potentially controversial choice is to take an established character from the films or TV shows and turn them into Ghost Rider. We saw in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that the spirit can be passed from person to person. Indeed Coulson actually hosted it for a time.
Who takes on this part is difficult to decide though. It makes more sense for a non powered character to be gifted with these hellish powers. Someone like Everett Ross for instance would be a prime candidate and it would be fun to see him struggle with such a different world to what he is used to. This CIA man might be a little overwhelmed by being the devil's servant.
2 ANOTHER REALITY
We know that the Multiverse is going to be a bigger part of Phase 4 in the future, so why not play off of that. We know there are so many different incarnations of this character, so Feige could absolutely introduce lots of different ones from alternate realities.
This way, we could see a variety of versions or even bring in a new Robbie Reyes without discounting the previous one. It's a bit of a cheat way to achieve this but it's certainly an option if all other viable paths forward seem too difficult to work with.
1 PHANTOM RIDER
One of the earliest Ghost Riders we saw later became the Phantom Rider. This character is usually associated with the wild west and rides a horse into battle instead of a mammoth, a car or of course a motorbike. There's always been a potential for Marvel to produce a western film.
There's plenty of western characters that Marvel haven't used yet from Two Gun Kid to adaptations of modern characters like an old west Iron Man. In all of this the Phantom Rider could be introduced as the main anti-hero of the era. With time travel established this time period could clash with the modern setting we're used to.