Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead

Is Norman Reedus Marvel’s Next Ghost Rider?

'The Walking Dead' star is rumored to be the new Johnny Blaze.
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Norman Reedus is revving up his Hell Cycle. The Walking Dead star is in talks to play Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider for a new project in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reedus has always been open about his desire to take on the role, telling Comicbook.com, “The Ghost Rider conversation has been coming up for years, and yeah, tell them to put me in it, … I want to play Ghost Rider.” Reedus added, “I want a fire skull. I want my face to turn into a fire skull and whip a chain around. That would be great.”

It’s perfect timing for Reedus, who is wrapping up the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead, where he plays fan-favorite Daryl Dixon, one of the few surviving members from the zombie show’s first season. Reedus is set to star in a spinoff series for AMC that focuses on Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride). In the meantime, Reedus has been fanning the flames of his potential casting, retweeting fan art and support.

Reedus even has the support of The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang, who tweeted, “Just saying… Norman Reedus as Ghost Rider WOULD be rad.”

Though there have been multiple Ghost Riders, Reedus would likely play Johnny Blaze, a stunt motorcyclist who sold his soul to Mephisto in return for his surrogate father’s cancer to be cured. After bonding with the demon Zarathos to become the Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider sports a flaming skull for a head and a motorcycle powered by the fires of hell. Ghost Rider possesses superhuman strength and can shoot hellfire at his enemies, although he prefers his flaming chain whip and a shotgun.

Reedus himself is an avid motorcyclist. He regularly rides one in The Walking Dead, and has hosted 5 seasons of Ride with Norman Reedus on AMC, where he explores different cities and their local biker culture. This would be Reedus’s second role in a Marvel film; he played Scud in Blade II. Reedus also voiced Frank Castle/The Punisher in the anime film Iron Man: Rise of Technovore.

Nicolas Cage played Blaze/Ghost Rider in the 2007 film directed by Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil). The sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, was released in 2012. Gabriel Luna played the Robbie Reyes version in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and was set to star in a Ghost Rider series for Hulu. Unfortunately, that series was scrapped, as were other planned entries into Marvel’s Adventure into Fear, which included now-canceled series Helstrom.

Fans on Twitter quickly expressed support for the casting, and for The Walking Dead to MCU pipeline:

(via Giant Freakin Robot, image: AMC)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.