Many fans were left cold by the two Nicolas Cage driven feature films Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Marvel is hoping to rectify that by introducing a new version of the hero on their hit television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While sitting down with ComicBook.com, executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen discussed how the character would be different than the previous incarnation.
“Well, thankfully we’re doing a different version of the character – one that’s not been seen in features or television,” Tancharoen said. “We were drawn to Robbie Reyes because of that fact and all just his unique story and background.”
Whedon didn’t shy away from speaking either.
“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.”
Nicolas Cage played the Johnny Blaze version of the character in his two films. Robbie Reyes made his debut as the character and a well received Marvel NOW! Series and is possessed by the spirit of a satanic serial killer.
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.’”
Despite the controversy surrounding the choice of character, Whedon and Tancharoen believe they’ve made the right call regarding the darker turn of the show’s fourth season.
“We wouldn’t go any other direction, and we couldn’t be happier with how Gabriel Luna is hitting it out of the park,” Whedon stressed.
The actor behind the fire, Gabriel Luna, chimed in as well, offering some insight into his serious approach to the character.
“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.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres tonight on ABC with the Spirit of Vengeance making his triumphant entrance.