The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus has revealed he'd love to star in a Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Silver Surfer or Ghost Rider. The actor has had a vast and varied career over the years, having already developed a cult following due to roles in such films as The Boondock Saints. The adaptation of Robert Kirkman's graphic novel, which currently airs on AMC, however, has afforded him more mainstream recognition. Though his character didn't originate from the source material, he quickly became a fan-favorite and, if reports are to be believed, could step up as the show's defacto lead once Andrew Lincoln departs in season 9.
Silver Surfer made his comic book debut back in 1966, in Fantastic Four #48. Ghost Rider followed a few years later, first turning up on the pages of Marvel Spotlight #5 in 1972. Both have gone on to be hugely popular in their own right. Until recently, both properties were owned by different studios, with 20th Century Fox retaining the rights to the galactic herald and the Spirit of Vengeance belonging to Sony. Both experienced big screen outings under their respective umbrellas, but neither managed to live up to the popularity or success of the source material. With Marvel Studio reclaiming the rights to Ghost Rider, and currently acquiring back various properties via Disney's purchase of Fox, that could change in the future.
Appearing at Walker Stalker Con’s "An Evening with Norman & Jeffrey" event (via ComicBook), Reedus and his co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan were asked which comic book characters they would love to play. Reedus needed little time to think about the question, answering almost immediately: “Ghost Rider would be fun. Silver Surfer would be fun."
Brian K. Vaughan was previously reported to be working on a script for a new Silver Surfer film, but the merger has potentially left that up in the air. Whether Reedus would have fit into that project is anybody's guess. The choices will do little to surprise his hardcore fans, though. Reedus is, after all, a noted surfing enthusiast in real life. Also, as well as his other on-screen roles, Reedus headlines AMC's reality documentary series Ride with Norman Reedus. The show follows Reedus as he travels the world via motorcycle, which also happens to be the preferred mode of transport of Johnny Blaze, the most popular incarnation of Ghost Rider. The character was previously played by Nicolas Cage on the big screen, but the less said about that the better.
Based on his stint on The Walking Dead alone, it's easy to see Reedus in either role. The character of Daryl, like the Silver Surfer, started off originally as something of an antagonist before emerging as an ally to the good guys. And yet, like Ghost Rider, his actions often veer more towards brutal and anti-heroic than outright pure and good. Rather than getting lost beneath the perpetual CGI that would comprise the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider would probably be a more crowd-pleasing fit. It would allow Reedus to play the CGI-infused and action-based aspects of the flame-headed antihero while also infusing him with heart and humanity in his, well, human form. Equally, his down and dirty charm would serve as a good fit for both sides of the character, especially if they go the R-rated route that fans - and even Nicolas Cage - have longed for.
It wouldn't be the first time Reedus has been featured in a Marvel film either, having previously played Scud in Guillermo del Toro's Blade II. But given that the Blade trilogy was similarly made before Marvel regained the rights to the character, it shouldn't interfere. Furthermore, the Spirit of Vengeance appeared for an arc on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that was the Robbie Reyes iteration of the character, meaning the original is still unclaimed, should Marvel Studios ever move forward with a big-screen interpretation of the character.
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