Agents of SHIELD EPs on Reinventing Ghost Rider - Not Rehabbing

When Agents of SHIELD airs tonight, the series will be bringing the Spirit of Vengeance to the small screen. Ghost Rider will be introduced when Season Four premieres, a fact that has many fans excited. Whether for better or worse, many viewers only know the fiery character from Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider films - but don’t expect to see that same hero hit Agents of SHIELD. According to the show’s executive producers, they are aiming to reinvent Ghost Rider rather than rehabilitating him.

Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen spoke with ComicBook.com’s Ashley Robinson as the Season Four Premiere of Agents of SHIELD where they talked about Ghost Rider’s legacy. When asked how they approached the character, Maurissa said they were thankfully given a version of Ghost Rider that fans hadn’t seen before.

“Well, thankfully we’re doing a different version of the character - one that’s not been seen in features or television,” she said. “We were drawn to Robbie Reyes because of that fact and all just his unique story and background.”

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Jed also chimed in to explained that, “On some level, everybody has an image of what Ghost Rider looks like, but usually that image is just a skull on fire. When we sort of peel back the layers…and you find out who this guy is, I think it will feel very fresh and very different.”

Overlooking Johnny Blaze, Agents of SHIELD will introduce viewers to Robbie Reyes - the newest iteration of Ghost Rider. The character debuted awhile back in a solo Marvel NOW! Series that fans rallied behind. The character lives a rough life taking care of his disabled brother and only becomes the Ghost Rider once he’s possessed by the spirit of a satanic serial killer. The gritty character is a far cry from what many expect to see in Ghost Rider, and there have been fans who’ve questioned the show’s use of Robbie over other characters.

Maurissa said, “A lot of people haven’t had the opportunity to read the Robbie Reyes series, so there’s been some surprise of 'Wait, he drives a car? Oh, no. He drives a motorcycle, you stupid people.'” However, the duo believe fans will come to realize that Robbie is the perfect Ghost Rider for the dark, gritty tone of Season 4.

Jed spoke for both of them when he told ComicBook.com that they are “very excited” about the character’s appearance. “We wouldn’t go any other direction, and we couldn’t be happier with how Gabriel Luna is hitting it out of the park,” he stressed.

Gabriel Luna will be bringing the hellish hero to life on Agents of SHIELD, and the actor took time to speak with our site as well about his role. When Gabriel was asked about the on-screen legacy of Ghost Rider, the actor said he took the role seriously.

“I really love how serious [we take Ghost Rider]. We’re definitely infusing it with a lot of gravitas and true-to-life emotional struggle. He’s just trying to be a normal guy who has to care for his brother [and] deal with these very real family ties. Meanwhile, [he’s] moonlighting as the Spirit of Vengeance and going out at night and putting more X’s on the wall when it comes to taking out bad guys.”

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In light of the Sokovia Accords, and with Hydra obliterated, SHEILD has been legitimatized again and no longer needs to operate in the shadows. Since the world presumes that Coulson is dead, the organization needed a new Director to be the face of the organization. Coulson finds himself back in the role as an agent and teamed with Mack, and together they are tasked with tracking down and confirming the presence of Enhanced people, aka Inhumans. Agent May is tasked with training specialist strike teams, and Fitz and Simmons have taken a big step forward in their relationship.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.