In 2007, Nicolas Cage starred as Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider, in the eponymous film version of the comic book. It was critically reviled, but profitable enough to get a sequel. The sequel, even worse than the first, lost money at the box office and killed the franchise.
Ghost Rider was resurrected in 2017 to appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Robbie Reyes version this time around), to mostly positive reviews — except from Brad Taylor, who co-directed the 2011 sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. As we reported in March, Taylor thought the S.H.I.E.L.D. version of Ghost Rider was "vanilla" and "G-rated." This is unsurprising, since it aired on broadcast television. Taylor had mentioned the original script for Spirit of Vengeance, written by David Goyer, was a hard R rating.
Now another voice is speaking out in favor of an R-rated Ghost Rider: Johnny Blaze himself, Nicolas Cage. In a recent interview with JoBlo, Cage had this to say:
“Y’know, Ghost Rider was a movie that always should’ve been an R-rated movie. David Goyer had a brilliant script, which I wanted to do with David and for whatever reason they just didn’t let us make the movie. But that movie is still a movie that should be made, not with me obviously, but it should be an R-rated movie. Heck, Deadpool was R-rated and that did great. Ghost Rider was designed to be a scary superhero with an R-rating and edge and they just didn’t have it worked out back then.”
The most interesting part of this statement is the fact that Nicolas Cage doesn't want to reprise the role of Ghost Rider. That just seems like maturity on Cage's part. He probably realizes that his time as Ghost Rider has passed. Plus, he finally gets to play Superman, his dream role, so things are looking up for Nic Cage.
Since Ghost Rider has appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it is officially part of the Marvel Extended Cinematic Universe, and Disney has a tight hold on those properties, so the chance for an R-rated, horror Ghost Rider is slim — but not out of the realm of possibility.