The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to get strange. The franchise will see Doctor Strange hit theaters later this November, but first, Agents of SHIELD is set to shake up things on the small screen. The series will return to ABC this month for Season 4 and introduce a major Marvel character to the to fans. According to Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson), viewers can expect Ghost Rider to introduce strange elements to the MCU before Stephen Strange gets the chance.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the actor revealed how Ghost Rider will alter the Agents of SHIELD and the entire MCU. "He's a different kind of threat than anything we've faced before," he explained.
"It introduces a part of the Marvel world that deals more with strange elements of the Marvel Universe and he's definitely the villain from hell."
Of course, members of Team Coulson are used to weird happenstances at this point. From extraterrestrial aliens to secret Nazi organizations, the show has seen it all - that is, except for the supernatural. Ghost Rider will be ushering in a new era of occult mystery to the series.
If you're not familiar with Ghost Rider, then you should know the hero is one who gains their powers from otherworldly beings. Johnny Blaze, the most famous iteration of Ghost Rider, was bound to a demon and used its powers to become the 'Spirit of Vengeance.'
However, Agents of SHIELD will have a somewhat altered Ghost Rider. The show will feature Robbie Reyes, the newest character to take up the ghostly moniker. The teenager is possessed by the ghost of a satanic serial killer named Eli Morrow in the comics. Marvel TV has confirmed they will be putting their own spin on the character, but many fans wonder if the hero's darker origins might feed into the grittier tone of Agents of SHIELD.
In a recent interview, executive producer Jeff Bell said that having Ghost Rider on the show "opens up a whole different kind of storytelling for us."
Actress Chloe Bennet (Daisy 'Quake' Johnson) also commented on the character and said anyone familiar with Robbie Reyes would see why Agents of SHIELD must go to dark places to explore his backstory. "These massive themes [are] being threaded throughout our season," she explained.
As for how Ghost Rider will change, fans aren't sure. Jed Whedon, an executive producer for Agents of SHIELD, simply told TVLine, "We are doing our own spin on it. We don't want people who have read the comics to know exactly what's coming."
In light of the Sokovia Accords, and with Hydra obliterated, S.H.I.E.L.D. 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.
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD returns to ABC on September 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
[H/T] Entertainment Weekly