Let me make this clear: I despise the Ghost Rider movies.
Seriously. I hate them. I can’t stand them. My left eye starts to twitch erratically anytime I’m near a screen that is playing them like some sick and twisted Spidey Sense™. I mean, granted, the films do have some redeemable, comedic value in that they are “just so bad that they’re good”, but Ghost Rider isn’t exactly supposed to be comedic.
I mean, what is comedic about imploring a demonic entity to cure your adopted dad/guardian of cancer in exchange for your soul and getting swindled by said demonic entity for shiggles?
Nah. Ghost Rider isn’t all that funny and should surely be way more powerful and scarier than he was portrayed in the Ghost Rider films. Like, I should not have been laughing my ass off every time the “Penance Stare” happened on screen. Instead, I should have been scared sh*tless.
Don’t believe me? Well consider his back-story:
Johnny Blaze was a stunt motorcyclist with a large propensity for being reckless. However, he had his more mild moments, especially as they concerned his family. Said family specifically pertains to his adopted dad, Crash Blaze. After finding out that Crash has cancer and will probably kick the bucket soon, Johhny makes his way downtown to Mephisto—aka the Rumpelstiltskin of the entire Marvel universe—and trades in his soul to save Crash’s life. I recall Jax making some similarly seedy compromises, but none of those compromises were this big or literally crossed over astral planes.
Of course, said compromise/deal would ultimately backfire as Mephisto would later turn this bargain on its head and allow Crash to die not from cancer, but in a horrid motorcycle stunt accident.
Still, he would eventually be barred from collecting his prize due to the love that Johnny and Roxanne (his adopted sister) have for each other (corny, I know, but eh). Thinking himself to be fairly clever, Mephisto morph into Petty Labelle and decide to bind Johnny’s soul to that of an unruly demon called Zarathos in order to keep them both in their “place”.
What he didn’t count on, however, is that this would piss both Johnny and Zarathos off and would yield the hellfire-spitting crime-fighter we know as Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider would eventually become the bane of his existence, forever going toe-to-toe with him and his astoundingly evil “son” Blackheart.
Back-story aside, I remain convinced that the movies got this all wrong and I think the demonic hero should get another shot at adaptational glory. I mean, it has been months since it was confirmed that Marvel had retained the rights to Ghost Rider. As a result, I would be absolutely shocked if Ghost Rider didn’t get his own Netflix show, Midnight Sons miniseries, or at least make a cameo in one of the other currently slated Marvel shows.
Still, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that one of those three scenarios will be happening and preemptively put forth the motion to cast Charlie Hunnam as Johnny Blaze, the first Ghost Rider.
I know, I know. I’m probably reaching a bit, but I think it could work. And here’s why:
Sons of Anarchy practically groomed him for this role.
Hunnam portrayed Jackson “Jax” Teller for over seven years and in the role he was able to show off multiple facets of himself and his acting skills. Indeed, Hunnam’s Jax was ruthless, reckless, sacrificial, and somewhat (I very much stress the word “somewhat”) conscientious. On top of that, Jax had some deeply, deeply ingrained family issues that have a colossal effect on him during the entire series, but found that guilt AND his hippie birth dad were his biggest motivators in trying to get himself to do the right thing.
This is not at all unlike Johnny Blaze whose whole familial set up is quite, quite f*cked up (re: his mom straight up left him at a very young age, but was petty and managed to take the rest of his siblings), but also finds himself making large, sacrificial decisions (I.e giving up his soul) all for the sake of his adopted dad and deals with the guilt afterwards when he ends up dead anyways.
Considering all of this, Hunnam’s Jax looks like a reflection and damn near carbon copy of Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider. But of course, there does remain one issue:
Is there a danger of Hunnam being typecast because of this?
While this is a valid concern, I’d have to say, no, not really. As discussed in my Iron Fist fan-cast piece, Charlie Hunnam possesses a varied and eclectic-looking filmography that, yes, includes Sons of Anarchy. Still, as this would (potentially) be only his second go at portraying mercilessly brutal, motorcycling riding antihero, I don’t in fact think he’d be in danger of being typecast at all.
If he was approached for a similar part for a third time, then I might be a bit concerned.
Wrapping this all up, I think it would be a mistake if Marvel didn’t consider Hunnam for this role. Not only is he the appropriate age for it (Marvel usually goes for early thirty-somethings, with the exception of Chadwick Boseman  and Tom Holland ), but he also possesses the menace that is needed to play someone as deeply disturbed, but strangely heroic as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider.
And I think we can all agree that Ghost Rider, who is still fresh with the stench of those Nic Cage movies, is need of a little menace.
How would you feel if Charlie Hunnam was cast as Ghost Rider? Let me know in the comments below!
Images From: Imgur.com, Zonanegativa.com, Samfragoso.com, Comingsoon.net