Now that the vengeance demon’s out of the bag, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 still has a world of work ahead to make Ghost Rider fit in with its typically super-science approach. Easing into that transition likely steered Agents more toward Marvel NOW! Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes, while Marvel TV bosses suggest that Doctor Strange will open up the MCU to a bit more magical thinking.

Per Entertainment Weekly, co-showrunner Jed Whedon suggested as much in the casting of Gabriel Luna as Robbie Reyes, a Ghost Rider not possessed by the same Spirit of Vengeance as the more well-known Johnny Blaze, but with a touch of the supernatural nonetheless. Marvel movies will be inching toward the magical with Doctor Strange, which helped expand S.H.I.E.L.D.’s thinking:

With Doctor Strange coming out this year, the Marvel Universe is moving into new waters. We felt that this was obviously a great character that we’d love to have on our show that we feel fits with that shift.

As to why high school student and gearhead Robbie Reyes made for a better choice than Johnny Blaze, executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen offered:

We decided to go with the Robbie Reyes version of the character because he’s a newer comic, and also it would be interesting to bring in someone with that background into our dynamic of the show … We’re staying true to his circumstance. But as always with any property that we use, we’re taking our liberties with it.

Said circumstance involves Robbie having a disabled younger brother, Gabe, and winding up gunned down after a street race, for which the spirit of a satanic serial killer possesses him. As such, Jed Whedon noted that where promos showed the more recognizable flaming skull, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 would likely skew closer to the masked look of Robbie Reyes’ design.

We’re pulling a little bit from different versions of the Ghost Rider. There’s an iconic image that we saw at Comic-Con of that skull on fire. Things are a little different with Robbie. There will be a little mixing and matching. We’re being true to the character, where he comes from, his little brother.

Marvel also revealed the character’s muscle car:

We’ll learn more as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 gears up production for a new fall timeslot, but will the ABC Marvel series do justice to Ghost Rider, even a lesser-known one?


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