When Marvel sold the rights to their properties back in the 90’s, it meant that many different studios would have a shot at adapting the great Marvel stories. Some, like the X-Men (20th Century Fox) and Spider-Man (Sony) franchises, were great. Some, like Hulk (Universal) and Daredevil (Fox), were not so great (i.e. horrible). The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes from the fact that Marvel is producing their stories directly in house. Now Ghost Rider gets a reboot directly from Marvel.
Ghost Rider Gets a Proper Adaptation
In the same scenario Daredevil and Punisher went through, when Fox failed to create a new Ghost Rider film the rights reverted back to Marvel Studios. After two, very strange, Nicolas Cage films (2007’s Ghost Rider, 2012’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), many wondered what the future of the character would hold. It seemed unlikely that the new Marvel/Disney partnership would produce a movie focused on such a dark/demented character. On the same token, the Marvel/Netflix folks made the best of their smaller budgets by focusing on the “street-level” heroes. Neither option proved to be viable for Ghost Rider.
After much excitement from this year’s Comic Con, it has been officially announced that Ghost Rider will be coming to Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
— Agents of SHIELD (@AgentsofSHIELD) September 4, 2016
Too dark for the movies and too magical for Netflix, the more and more fantastical setting of SHIELD seems to be the best fit for Ghost Rider in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You will notice that the new character is not Johnny Blaze, the standard Ghost Rider known for his fiery motorcycle. Instead, Marvel Television has opted for Robbie Reyes (as portrayed by Gabriel Luna). Heroic Hollywood has a good breakdown of why the choice was made:
“At the end of the day, SHIELD is really a show about family,” Loeb said. “I know that it looks like a show about a bunch of spies that are running around on a big, giant plane that are saving the world every week, but it really is about a group of people who come together because they have no one else in their lives. When you watch the show from that point of view, you really understand that Coulson (Clark Gregg) is a father figure, and these people around him are people he needs to look after and make sure they’re okay.”
“Robbie’s story, in its inception, is the story of an older brother who’s looking after his younger brother, and then how the world of the Ghost Rider changes that dynamic,” Loeb says. “That’s true of any Marvel hero. We begin in a place where it’s something we can all relate to, and then something extraordinary happens to them, not that they’ve ever asked for it. What we’ll find out along the way is Robbie’s journey now that he has the burden of being the Ghost Rider, what that does and more importantly how that affects our cast at SHIELD.”
What do you all think? Does the inclusion of Ghost Rider excited you about the future of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Is there anyone out there that might pick up the show again due to the hero’s inclusion? Let us know in the comments below! Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (with a season premiere entitled “The Ghost”) on September 20, 2016.