Identity of the MCU's Ghost Rider confirmed; major star "already cast"

Marvel fans have been wondering which version of Ghost Rider could ride that fiery motorcycle into the MCU and now they might have an answer about that.
Top Ghost Rider Moments: Daisy Meets Ghost Rider - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Top Ghost Rider Moments: Daisy Meets Ghost Rider - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. / ABC

As Marvel continues to develop the next phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are a lot of rumors going around about what they could look like. But honestly, there are always rumors revolving around this franchise, which isn't surprising given its immense popularity.

The studio will be calming down its release strategy in the coming months and years, with less annual movie releases in theaters and TV shows on Disney Plus. They'll still be coming and more new ones will be greenlit, but both Marvel and Disney are being more selective going forward.

One of the projects that fans have been hoping will get a confirmation announcement soon is that long-rumored Ghost Rider project. Given that it hasn't been officially announced as of yet, very little is known about it (including if it's even real) at this point. The character had multiple incarnations in the comics, and fans are particularly eager to know that, if he gets adapted in live-action again, which version the MCU would give us. Now, one scooper may have given us those answers.

The MCU's Ghost Rider will reportedly be Johnny Blaze

According to Marvel scooper HolyField News, the iteration of Ghost Rider that eventually surfaces in the MCU will be Johnny Blaze. The post came in response to a fan who asked if it would be Blaze or Daniel Ketch that takes up the Ghost Rider mantle in the project, to which the scooper simply responded "Johnny Blaze will be the MCU's Ghost Rider".

Johnny Blaze is the second character in Marvel Comics to hold the Ghost Rider title, coming after Carter Slade (who was an Old-West gunfighter who rode a horse eventually renamed Phantom Rider). However, he was the first to ride the character's iconic hellish motorcycle, redefining who the Ghost Rider was and making him one of the most iconic staples in Marvel Comics. He was then succeeded in the role by Daniel Ketch (Blaze's long-lost brother), Alejandra Jones, and Robbie Reyes.

The report stating that Johnny Blaze will be the MCU's Ghost Rider isn't too surprising. Johnny is the most popular iteration of the character and has been adapted the most in animated shows, video games and other media, including two live-action movies in which Nicolas Cage portrayed him.

That being said, the Ghost Rider character made another live-action appearance in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, but this was the Robbie Reyes version. Diego Luna played the role, and there were even rumblings of him leading a spinoff for Hulu at one point, but it wasn't to be. This does once again pose us with the question of whether Agents of SHIELD is canon to the MCU if it has already had a version of Ghost Rider appear. It certainly was intended to be at the time, but it feels like the further we get into the Marvel Studios TV era, the further we move away from the original Marvel Television era.

Nevertheless, it will be great to see Ghost Rider surface in the MCU if/when Marvel Studios brings that long-awaited Disney Plus series to life.

Ryan Gosling rumored to play the Spirit of Vengeance

As for who could play Ghost Rider in a solo project for the MCU, there has only ever been one name discussed by fans as a frontrunner, and that is Ryan Gosling. The Barbie star has been fan-cast in the role over the years, with many believing that he'd be a perfect casting as Johnny Blaze. And honestly, it's easy to see why.

It sounds like this might actually have a chance to coming to fruition, as HolyField News recently discussed this in a social media post on X (formerly known as Twitter), with the scooper stating that Gosling has already been cast in the role and that the announcement could be made at D23 in August.

Gosling himself has been outspoken about his desire to play the role in recent years, telling Happy Sad Confused's Josh Horowitz that he'd love to bring the Spirit of Vengeance to life. Horowitz himself then spoke to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about it and he responded with "Ryan's amazing. I would love to find a place for him in the MCU".

While it's important to take all rumors with a grain of salt, it sounds like this one actually could come to fruition. Gosling is on the high of his career after his Academy Award-nominated role as Ken in Barbie and his recent action comedy The Fall Guy with Emily Blunt also earned positive reviews. He'd also be a great choice for the role of Johnny Blaze, with the charisma and coolness needed for such a larger-than-life character.

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