‘Blade’ and ‘Ghost Rider’ Have Returned to the Marvel Universe
Before they decided to get in the film business for themselves, Marvel used to license out their characters to different studios. And those studios can continue making movies about those characters as long as they have a film (or sequel or reboot) in production in the allotted amount of time. If they don’t, the rights revert back to Marvel. With no sequels or reboots in active development, the rights to Blade and Ghost Rider have reverted back to Marvel.
This news comes from Entertainment Weekly by way of Slashfilm, and the business has changed enough that this doesn’t seem to say much about the immediate future. Marvel has plans that go into 2015, so it would be at least three of four years before these characters could return to the big screen at the earliest. And though it’s possible they could be brought into ‘The Avengers 2‘ — and seriously, who wouldn’t want to see Nicolas Cage and Wesley Snipes acting alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo — it seems unlikely.
It’s surprising how slow and how fast these reverted rights took. There hasn’t been a ‘Blade’ movie since 2004, though New Line made a television version in 2006 that ran for one season. Whereas ‘Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance’ hit theaters in 2011. It didn’t do well, so it’s possible that Sony (who previously owned the rights) just let their rights lapse. The problem with rebooting both is that the comics they come from are much more violent and vigilante-driven than the more all-American heroes seen in ‘The Avengers,’ and pursuing new versions may be more difficult now that Marvel has aligned with Disney. But they are still name-brands, so it’s possible that one or both will be rebooted in the new Marvel era. We’ll keep you posted if it happens.