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After his time on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, there were calls from fans for Gabriel Luna’s Robbie Reyes, a.k.a. Ghost Rider, to get his own TV series, and those calls were finally answered back in May, when it was announced that the flame-headed character would lead his own Hulu show. Alas, a mere four months later, it’s been announced that the long-rumored Ghost Rider series has been scrapped.
According to Deadline, Hulu decided not to move forward with Ghost Rider due to disagreements with the show’s creative team. Apparently a “creative impasse” was reached and could not be resolved, so the streaming service decided to shelve Robbie Reyes’ standalone story. Helstrom, another Marvel show that was given the green light at the same time as Ghost Rider, is still on track for a 2020 release. And Gabriel Luna had us hyped, too!
Marvel's Ghost Rider was executive produced by Stephen Lightfoot of The Punisher and Hannibal. Lightfoot was also on board as showrunner. Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb was another executive producer, as was Paul Zbyszewski of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Lost. We may never now what led to the "creative impasse," but it's a shame that it was too significant to be overcome.
Many axed series are shopped elsewhere after getting bad news; that may not be the case. I doubt it would go to Netflix, probably isn't a fit for Freeform (home of Cloak & Dagger), and may not find a place even on the MCU series-stacked Disney+.
There were always big questions about the Ghost Rider series, and those questions arguably created a great deal of hype for the Hulu series. The decision to cast Gabriel Luna as Ghost Rider made a whole lot of sense, as he was a fan-favorite playing the role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but there was a mystery regarding how the character would be different as the standalone series' Ghost Rider wouldn't be the same from S.H.I.E.L.D.
There was also the question of how connected the series would or would not be to the larger MCU, considering how the MCU is so often shrouded in mystery. Under normal circumstances, prospective viewers could just assume that the potential for a crossover of sorts -- even if only via mentions, a la Cloak & Dagger and Runaways on Hulu -- would be there, but not a huge aspect of the series.
But then, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. exists in the MCU, has been quite impacted by the events of the MCU movies, and has featured MCU movie characters like Nick Fury and Maria Hill. If S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Ghost Rider was part of the MCU, how could Ghost Rider's Ghost Rider also be part of the MCU, when both versions of Robbie Reyes were physically identical?
Alas, we'll never get to see the story unfold in the Gabriel Luna-starring standalone series on Hulu, and it's too late to bring him back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. unless he filmed a surprise cameo. Filming on the seventh and final season has already come to an end, despite the fact that it won't air until next summer.
Still, the MCU itself certainly isn't ending, so it's entirely possible that Gabriel Luna could reprise his first role as Ghost Rider in a future movie or show. Fans still have to be bummed that he's not getting his own series, after he showed what he could do as the Spirit of Vengeance.
I personally had expected to hate Ghost Rider on S.H.I.E.L.D. considering he would take S.H.I.E.L.D. in its least grounded direction yet, but I wound up loving him and was looking forward to the standalone series since it starred Gabriel Luna.
You can relive Gabriel Luna's run as Ghost Rider on Netflix where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently available streaming. There are also plenty of new and returning shows coming to the small screen in the not-too-distant future.