Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance co-director Brian Taylor says he has "no interest" in the version of the Rider featured on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, and would prefer to see a R-rated version of the character brought to life instead.
Known for their off-the-wall filmmaking style and twisted sense of humor, Taylor and his frequent writing/directing collaborator Mark Neveldine made a name for themselves with the extremely R-rated Crank movies (starring Jason Statham) and sci-fi thriller Gamer in the 2000s. Spirit of Vengeance remains the only PG-13 film that the pair worked on together, with Nicolas Cage reprising his role as Johnny Blaze from Mark Steven Johnson's 2007 Ghost Rider movie. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. adapted the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider from the All-New Ghost Rider comic books during its fourth season, but heavily implied that Blaze was the Ghost Rider responsible for giving Reyes his superpowers.
Speaking with Flickering Myth as part of the promotional tour for his new film Mom and Dad (which also stars Cage), Taylor admitted that he wished he had pushed for a R rating for Spirit of Vengeance, saying "I think that Ghost Rider should be a rated-R, horror character." He then admitted that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s version of the Ghost Rider didn't work for him either, adding that he's still holding out hope for an adults-only big screen adaptation of the property in the future:
“They’ve brought that character back on TV now and he looks like the clean, vanilla, G-rated character again. That version really has no interest for me, but I do think a scary, rated-R, horror superhero movie is an awesome thing that should be done and I wish that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance had been it.”
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s version of the Robbie Reyes character is played by Gabriel Luna and quickly became a fan-favorite, following his introduction in season 4. The TV series' 100th episode airs this Friday and will reveal the truth about the mysterious deal that Coulson struck with Ghost Rider, back in the season 4 finale. That doesn't necessarily guarantee an appearance by either the Ghost Rider or Luna as Robbie in the flesh during the episode, but it will finally tie-off that long dangling plot thread. It could also reveal what's to come for the Rider, as far as their future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is concerned.
A R-rated solo movie, however, is probably not something that the MCU has in store for Ghost Rider; nor does a TV-MA spinoff seem likely, now that Marvel TV is moving away from Netflix and releasing future live-action series through Disney's streaming service (which will be devoid of R-rated content). Nonetheless, there are no doubt fans who agree with Taylor about Ghost Rider deserving a R-rated adaptation, just as there are certainly those who feel the Robbie Reyes version on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is sufficiently grisly and horrifying. So, until something changes, it's probably best to let bygones be bygones when it comes to this particular debate.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues Friday, March 9 with its 100th episode, "The Real Deal", on ABC.
Source: Flickering Myth
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