Johnny Depp could be the next actor to become the Ghost Rider. Rumor has it that the Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland star is in talks with representatives of Marvel Studios about taking on the daunting role of introducing the iconic character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
In previous movies, veteran actor Nicolas Cage was behind the flaming skull in 2007’s Ghost Rider and 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – both of which received mostly negative reviews. So will Depp be the one to break the curse of bad adaptations of the character on the silver screen?
It’s possible. Much like Cage, Depp has reportedly been a fan of Ghost Rider since he was a kid. However, unlike Cage, Depp is known for inhabiting his characters and has rarely displayed bad acting onscreen. His previous roles have proven that he can take on just about any type of character, and the manic energy he can summon onscreen might just provide the right amount of camp and darkness the character and story entails – a balance that Cage simply couldn’t deliver in his two previous Ghost Rider movies.
Meanwhile, according to We Got This Covered which broke the news about Depp, another a-list actor is reportedly also interested in the role. Before Depp expressed interest in being Ghost Rider, fans rallied behind John Wick and Matrix star Keanu Reeves to take on the role of the devil’s bounty hunter. At the same time however, Reeves is also rumored to be already working on reprising his role as DC Extended Universe (DCEU) occult detective Constantine. While his appearance as both a DCEU and MCU character won’t mess with the comic book world time-space continuum, the fact that Reeves could be busy with developing Constantine could mean that he’s willing to step aside for Depp to take on the role. Although considering how huge it is of an opportunity to be the one to introduce Ghost Rider to the MCU, the jury’s still out on whether it’ll be Depp or Reeves behind the next silver screen iteration of everyone’s favorite vengeance-seeking flaming skull.
What’s certain is that it’s about time for Ghost Rider to ride into the MCU. Despite previously disappointing appearances on film, the character remains one of Marvel’s most popular heroes across a variety of media. In print, Marvel’s Cosmic Ghost Rider continues to keep the character alive and kicking for new and old audiences alike, a space-themed remix of a classic Marvel icon. Ghost Rider also appeared in Marvel’s Agents of Shield portrayed by Gabriel Luna. Online, the Ghost Rider slot game featured on Tuxslots flawlessly adopts the character’s bright flames and dark visual themes – proof that the classic Marvel hero remains highly popular and relevant today. In short, thanks to Ghost Rider’s universal themes of vengeance and his ever-popular flaming skull and motorcycle imagery, he continues to be one of the most adaptable Marvel characters of all time. Whether online, in print, or even through fresh new cinematic stories, there’s bound to be an interesting way to tackle Ghost Rider for modern times.
Will Johnny Depp be the next ghost rider, or will the task fall on Keanu Reeves? Either way, the fans win. Both of these actors seem well suited to the task of being a flaming, bare-skulled, motorcycle-riding agent of vengeance.