Marvel Actor Not Ready to Be Replaced in the MCU

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Agents of Shield Season 4 Character Poster with Ghost Rider

Credit: ABC / Marvel

Rumors have been swirling that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is preparing to reintroduce Ghost Rider into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel fans have been speculating which version of the Spirit of Vengeance this could be – Johnny Blaze or Robbie Reyes. Some say Norman Reedus (AMC’s The Walking Dead) is preparing to step up as Johnny, while others have suggested this is the role that Keanu Reeves was in talks for. But Gabriel Luna has shown that he still feels strongly about his version of Ghost Rider.

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gabriel luna as robbie reyes aka ghost rider in abc agents of shield season 4 human form
Credit: ABC / Marvel

The question is if Marvel Studios have their eyes on Robbie Reyes, what that could mean for the previous version of the character, which Gabriel Luna played on Agents of SHIELD. Recent entries in the new Marvel Studios original series created for Disney+ like WandaVision and Hawkeye have put Agents of SHIELD’s status as canon up for debate by reusing the Darkhold and Mockingbird.

But Marvel fans loved Luna’s version of Ghost Rider and have been begging for him to return just as Vincent D’Onofrio (Wilson Fisk/Kingpin) and Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil) have found their way back to the main Marvel Universe.

And Luna recently shared on Twitter that he is still ready to come back at any time, saying:

“StayReadySoYouDontHaveToGetReady.”

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However, if Marvel Studios is working on a Ghost Rider project, that could be a solo story or a Midnight Sons team up with the upcoming Moon Knight series starring Stars Wars‘s Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector. Gabriel Luna previously expressed interest in returning for any project, even Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022), saying:

“You never say no. You always say that it comes down to the story […] If it’s a great story and it makes sense and if I still feel the way I felt when I was reading for Jed and Moe that first day with Sarah Finn, it was a few years back, if I still feel it’s just like breathing, that’s what I felt with the character previously, then absolutely.”

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Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze in Sony's Ghost rider
Credit: Sony Pictures

But if the rumors are to be believed that Marvel Studios is only interested in the Johnny Blaze version of the character, last played by Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider (2007) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011). But this time, Norman Reedus will take up the mantle of the demonic entity.

While Johnny Blaze has never been seen in the MCU, actor Clark Gregg(Agent Phil Coulson) confirmed that the powers were given to Robbie by Johnny Blaze. If Norman Reedus is playing Johnny Blaze that does not mean Robbie is no longer canon to MCU since it was never in the show that was where he got his powers. But fans are reluctant to see Luna go.

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Johnny Blaze versus Robbie Reyes

Marvel Comics Two Ghost Riders Robbie Reyes and Johnny Blaze
Credit: Marvel Comics

Johnny Blaze was first introduced in Marvel Spotlight #5 (1972), created by Gary Friedrich and Mike Ploog. He was an American motorcycle stunt performer whose father Barton Blaze tragically died during a stunt. Johnny Blaze made a deal with Mephisto to spare the life of his surrogate father, Crash Simpson. And thus, he became bound to Zarathos, the Spirit of Vengeance.

Robbie Reyes was introduced in All-New Ghost Rider #4 (2014), created by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore. Robbie Reyes was a young mechanic working in East Los Angeles, an area full of gangs and crimes. While trying to earn money street racing, Robbie was murdered. He worried about what would happen to his younger brother Gabe if he died, so he allowed the ghost that haunted him to possess him and turn him into the Ghost Rider.

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Marvel Comics Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze
Credit: Marvel Comics

The two Ghost Riders have been compared relentlessly. However, they both have the same power to control Hellfire and the Penance Stare. Although there have been sixteen versions of the character in the comic books, including the one before Blaze – Carter Slade.

Some Marvel fans think it would be a backslide in Marvel’s Phase Four push to include more diverse characters in the MCU if they went with Johnny Blaze from now on. Robbie Reyes represents only a small handful of Latinx characters, few of whom have ever made it to live-action.

So let us know in the comments which version of Ghost Rider you would like to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

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