UPDATE: “Agents of SHIELD’s” producers revealed at San Diego Comic-Con Friday (July 22) that Ghost Rider will be joining the upcoming season. They also announced via Entertainment Weekly that he will be played by Gabriel Luna.
The TV incarnation of Ghost Rider is Roberto “Robbie” Reyes, a high school student transformed into Ghost Rider after a street race goes horribly wrong. Nicolas Cage portrayed Johnny Blaze, the first Ghost Rider, in the two movie versions.
“Season 4 will unquestionably be the series’ biggest, most ambitious story yet, and it all begins with the introduction of one of our greatest legacy characters in Ghost Rider,” says executive producer Jeph Loeb in a statement. “When the Spirit of Vengeance rides into SHIELD, it’ll change everything.”
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Now that “Agents of SHIELD” seems to have some vacancies in the cast, rumors are running wild about who will be joining Coulson and his crew in Season 4. The most intriguing speculation, however, revolves around a certain antihero with a flaming skull and a hellcycle.
In advance of the upcoming Comic-Con, Marvel is teasing fans with an ambiguously-wrapped San Diego train that has the show’s logo set ablaze with fiery chains typically wielded by Ghost Rider — the 44-year-old Marvel favorite most recently seen in a series of Nicolas Cage popcorn flicks.
While it’s highly unlikely that Cage’s manic facial expressions will be delighting “SHIELD” fans any time soon, the casting of “two Latino brothers” would seem to further imply that Ghost Rider is about to set screens ablaze once again — albeit, in a different form than movie fans will expect.
According to ScreenRant, the two new Latino characters joining the show include one in a wheelchair and another who will “always be the most dangerous man in the room.” Those descriptions would seem to fit with Robbie and Gabe Reyes — two brothers from the Ghost Riders comics. In those recent tales, Robbie is the new Ghost Rider, taking over the tradition of Johnny Blaze (played by Cage in the films) and Danny Ketch.
Here’s where things get really interesting, because the Reyes brothers offer a very different take on the classic Marvel character. Gabe is disabled, and his older brother is so desperate to help that he enters a street race, only to be gunned down. As such, his Ghost Rider drives a “Fast and the Furious”-like hell car and isn’t so much about punishing bad guys as he is about protecting his brother.
Much like “Ant-Man,” the move would take a classic character and use a later iteration rather than the most famous one. It makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that it would still leave more famous Ghost Rider incarnations available for later appearances in films and/or TV series.
So, will Ghost Rider be riding again when “SHIELD” returns in September? Fans at Comic-Con will be keeping their eyes out for any further flaming clues.