When Ghost Rider shows up on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. he'll likely give the series a shot of much-needed adrenaline. While the shows cinematic big brothers are all generally well-received- and the biggest thing in Hollywood- the show has always been considered sort of ho-hum. Producers for the series would love for Ghost Rider to give the show a good kick in los cojones, and it sounds like actor Gabriel Luna is up for the task.
In a chat with Collider, Luna described what's going to make this version of Ghost Rider stand out, and how the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writers have really embraced the most fascinating dynamic of the Reyes version of the character
"When I read the books by Felipe [Smith] and Tradd [Moore], and all the people who contributed to doing those first 12 issues of the All-New Ghost Rider, the first thing that I identified with was the orphan nature of his upbringing and some of the hardships that he deals with, at a very, very young age. He’s raising his little brother, from the age of 13. There were some striking similarities to my background and my past, and some similar family dynamics.
...Previous incarnations of the character are men who usually have a pretty decent life, to start out. Johnny Blaze is a famous Hollywood stuntman. Danny Ketch is not doing too bad to start with. And then, the Ghost Rider becomes this really heavy curse on them. Robbie is in an inverted position there. He had some hardships early in his life, and the Ghost Rider actually becomes an empowering thing. While it’s still difficult to deal with and very much a curse, he had some f*cked up sh*t going on before Ghost Rider ever came about. His control over it is something that slightly differs from the previous characters and previous vessels of the Ghost Rider spirit."
It seems like the writers are definitely taking their cues from the work of Smith and Moore in the books, which is exciting. The idea that Reyes actually embraces his dangerous powers and doesn't view them as a curse could make for a truly compelling anti-hero. It also makes Reyes a bit of a wild card for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that's exactly how Luna describes him:
"Yeah, he’s very powerful. That’s a huge wild card to throw into the mix. We’re starting to toe the line and inch towards some ground that hasn’t been covered ... What we haven’t touched on are things that can’t be explained perfectly by science. It’s a lot of really fun stuff that starts to lean into the world of Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider and Mephisto, and all of these other elements that also exist there, like ghouls and goblins and all sorts of cool things. We’re happy to be the ones to break the ice on that."
It's interesting that Luna name-dropped Doctor Strange there. While may fans like to complain that there isn't enough synergy between Marvel's movies and TV shows- despite the fact that we know they all take place in the same shared universe- it sounds like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue to be a place where the architects of the Marvel Universe test out new themes and ideas that will make their way to the big screen. As you likely know, Doctor Strange will hit theaters on November 4, and will take the MCU into some pretty mystical places.
Luna also mentioned Mephisto, which is noteworthy. Mephisto has ties to all of Marvel's mystic characters, which include- obviously- Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, and the big bad from the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War himself, Thanos!
If Mephisto's involved in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also winds up being a player in the Infinity War, this could be the answer to many a fan's prayer for Marvel's big and small screen worlds to show more unity.
Exciting stuff lies ahead, boys and girls. Stay tuned!
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight, only on ABC.