Roy Thomas reveals what Marvel Studios can do with Ghost Rider following the Hulu series’ rejection and the possibility of being a project consultant.
Though Ghost Rider’s post-Nicolas Cage adaptation history featured a memorable storyline on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. featuring Gabriel Luna as the Spirit of Vengeance, the character’s on-screen future remains uncertain.
As Ghost Rider co-creator and former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas told ComicBook.com, he doesn’t know whether the character will fight alongside the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers anytime soon, as that decision depends on the company rather than its writers. “No, Ghost Rider — like Secret Wars, for that matter, as I’m sure Jim Shooter agrees — belongs to Marvel under the work-for-hire circumstances under which we developed those concepts,” he stated. “It’d be nice to be consulted about characters we’ve created or co-created, but Marvel’s under no obligation to do so.”
As to whether he’ll be involved with Ghost Rider’s future, Thomas isn’t certain, but won’t bare any ill will if Marvel doesn’t reach out. “I’ve never been given (nor asked for) any specific credit or money for Ghost Rider, to the best of my knowledge. I’m happy with my arrangements with Marvel on many other concepts I co-created or developed, however, and no quarrel regarding the character,” Thomas said.
Created in 1972 by Thomas, Gary Friedrich and Mike Ploog, Ghost Rider would be first be adapted into the Nicolas Cage-led 2007 film of the same name. In Ghost Rider, Cage played the Johnny Blaze incarnation of Ghost Rider, who, 21 years after selling his soul to Mephisto, is forcibly made the next Rider and tasked with defeating his son Blackheart before he locates a mystical demonic contract. Cage would return for the 2012 sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance but, like the first film, it received mostly negative reviews. Eventually, Gabriela Luna would play the then-new Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes, in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s fourth season. Robbie partnered up with Quake and Phil Coulson’s team to locate the mystical Darkhold grimoire.
Following his stint on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Luna was set to return as Reyes for a Hulu-produced Ghost Rider spinoff that, according to him, made it to early pre-production stages. However, amid Marvel Studios absorbing Marvel Television, the project was scrapped. Though Marvel hasn’t announced anymore Ghost Rider adaptations, the Darkhold did make a return in WandaVision as a spell book under Agatha Harkness’ possession, only to be taken by Wanda Maximoff after defeating Agatha.
It’s currently unknown whether that book will tie into the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which Elizabeth Olsen claims “wouldn’t make sense” without understanding WandaVision‘s story. Luna, meanwhile, is set to play Tommy Miller in HBO’s upcoming TV adaptation of The Last of Us video game.
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