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Almost any time there’s news about superheroes getting new projects, grains of salt start coming out by the truckload. Such is the case with this trio of anti-heroes that Netflix may be potentially looking at for future TV series: The Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider. Let us all thank Daredevil’s massive success for allowing such rumors to exist without sounding like total bullshit.
The news comes from Heroic Hollywood and its superhero-friendly founder Umberto Gonzalez, who says that Marvel is porting their MCU ideas over to the small screen for a Phase II of Netflix series that would presumably follow the Defenders miniseries coming around 2017. Because Marvel movies currently have most of the biggest comic book names already taken, it makes sense that they have to go for fan-favorites whose big screen endeavors are mostly in the past, and that definitely fits for Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider.
The Punisher seems like the most likely of these characters to get a show, as the muscular gun-toting badass was the first name on everyone’s tongues after seeing how gritty and violent Steven DeKnight was able to make Daredevil. Marvel’s always been iffy about showcasing blatant murder and brutality, but a Punisher series could be another exception to the rule, providing the right creative team is behind it.
Pop culture’s obsession with vampires will probably never die, so that gives Blade a leg up in possibly going into development for a series. While he’s also a pretty violent character, both in the comics and in the Wesley Snipes-starring film series, the supernatural aspect can heighten the bloodshed and deaths so that they don’t feel quite as realistic. Thus, it could fit somewhere below the TV-MA rating that Marvel is presumably wanting for the rest of their streaming output.
Though Ghost Rider’s feature career wasn’t all that successful with Nicolas Cage beneath the flaming skull, a TV show could really turn the character into more of a household name with the right storyline. Like Blade, the over-the-top supernatural side of things could balance the more adult material, like a non-network version of Constantine. (That show should never have been made for broadcast TV.) And if they decided to give the Spirit of Vengeance to one of the later Ghost Riders like the short-lived Alejandra, a Nicaraguan woman, or Robbie Reyes, a Mexican-American, then Netflix could get even more diversity out of its Marvel shows.
Could any of these be what Ryan Phillippe is in talks for? Could any of them ever actually make it to the small screen? We hope so, and we’re willing to wait another two or three years to see it happen.