Marvel Entertainment and Entertainment Weekly have revealed the first image of Gabriel Luna as Robbie Reyes, better known as the spirit of vengeance Ghost Rider, from Agents of SHIELD Season 4. The addition of Ghost Rider to the show was first revealed at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer with a short teaser video, and now with Season 4 set to debut on American TV later this month, Marvel are out to remind fans why they need to get excited for SHIELD.
Gabriel Luna (Matador, Wicked City) was confirmed earlier to be playing the Robbie Reyes rendition of the comic book character. Ghost Rider’s best known alter-ego is arguably Johnny Blaze, a character that was recently played by Nicolas Cage in both Ghost Rider (2007) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012). When asked about going with a more unknown version of the character, executive producer Jed Whedon joked that “Nicolas Cage turned us down”, before explaining that the Reyes version of Ghost Rider simply works better as “SHIELD is really a show about family”. Robbie Reyes’ story within Marvel Comics has frequently focused on his love for his disabled brother, and need to protect him, so its likely similar storylines will be seen in SHIELD Season 4. Executive Producer Maurissa Tancharoen added that “There’s not a lot of material on the character so it gives us a lot of room to have our take on it”, as Reyes was first introduced into Marvel Comics in 2014. Luna is sporting Robbie Reyes’ traditional jacket in the promotional image, that the character wears both as Reyes and when he transforms into the demonic Ghost Rider.
With Agents of SHIELD being set within the canon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans speculated that Ghost Rider, a supernatural character, would be an addition to the SHIELD roster, which usually focuses on science-fiction, due to the impending release of Doctor Strange, which promises to talk a look into the supernatural side of the Marvel universe. Whedon discussed this, but seemingly hinted that Ghost Rider wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the show’s usual focus, stating that “We’re opening it up even further to the world of things we don’t totally understand, or as Thor says, ‘Magic is science that we don’t understand.’ Well, we’re getting into some very, very fancy science.”. Ghost Rider’s initial origins began when comic character Johnny Blaze sold his soul to a demonic villain, Mephisto, and finds himself transformed into a flaming skeleton. With SHIELD focusing on Robbie Reyes, plus the hints towards “fancy science”, it is more than likely his origin within the show will be updated. Ghost Rider is typically associated with riding a flaming motorcycle when transformed, but the Reyes rendition of the character in fact drives a muscle car, which Marvel revealed earlier this year at Comic-Con.
Agents of SHIELD Season 4 will premiere on 20th September on US Television. A premiere date for the UK is to be determined, but is expected to arrive on Channel 4 soon after.