Thanks to Nicolas Cage’s manic delusions of being an “Afro-Caribbean voodoo icon” (no, really), the name Ghost Rider didn’t hold much stock with non-comic book fans. Despite being box office successes, Cage’s two Ghost Rider flicks, in which he played Marvel’s titular Spirit of Vengeance, went from “meh” to “meth… these people must be doing meth”. The mounting poor reviews meant that Sony eventually let their hold on the film rights lapse and pass back to Marvel a number of years ago. Since then fans were wondering what Marvel intended to do with the character.
And they actually started wondering that even harder when it was revealed that not only would Ghost Rider be used in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a TV series that feels like a poor tonal fit as it’s the complete opposite of Ghost Rider’s dark world, but also that Marvel were intending to not use the more well known Johnny Blaze version of the character (who Cage played) or even the Danny Ketch and Alejandra Jones version but rather the only very recently introduced Robbie Reyes version. No offence to actor Gabriel Luna who would be playing the character, but fans were skeptical as all hell.
And then we actually watched the character debut in AoS‘ season four premiere… and damn was it awesome! In the few episodes since then, Luna and Marvel have drawn nothing but praise for their portrayal of the character. And it would seem that all those good vibes have got the suits talking. Chatting to IGN at New York Comic Con over the weekend, Luna revealed that there’s actually been some early internal talk about Ghost Rider perhaps spinning off into his own series.
“You know, there’s been rumblings about that. It depends on how much you love it. If you love it, we’ll make it.”
And apparently, fans have really been loving it, much to Luna’s relief.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. You know, because I stayed off the internet when I got the job – just completely off the internet, you know. Half the people were just stoked that there was going to be a Ghost Rider, because we had gotten the property back obviously… Marvel. But then the other half are purists… And you know, people don’t like change, and I understand that. So people were worried about there not being a motorcycle, they were worried about it not being Johnny or Danny or Alejandra, for that matter. They were worried about these things, and there was a lot of unrest early. But I knew that what we were doing was worthy, because every day we came to work just cool stuff was happening, man.”
And in retrospect, Marvel’s decision to rather use the relatively new Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider turned out to be a big boon as it allowed Luna and co to do their own thing without much fan pressure.
“The writing was there and all I had to do was believe it, keep your head down and find your own lane. Because yeah there was Johnny Blaze, yeah there was Nick’s version of it and there all these other things, but we’re doing Robbie Reyes and this is brand new. There’s twelve issues of this thing and everything we do expands the canon of the character. And so, there was that element of it, and everything I do is as far as we’ve ever taken the character. It’s what it is, so I just own that, and now all that people who were worried about the bike and who were worried about it not being Johnny, they’re like ‘Dude, did you see that, man? Did you watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Oh my god, I was so worried about the CGI, but they did in 42 minutes what they couldn’t do in two movies.” And they’re just like “Aw, man, this Robbie kid we love him”. And that’s all I want, because he’s a lovable dude. And he’s a loving dude, who just happens to have a demon always clawing away at his insides trying to get out.”
So what if Robbie Reyes’ Ghost Rider should get his own show? What would Luna like see in that series?
“You know, I love New York City, it’s a beautiful place. So wonderful that all the superheroes in the world seem to live here [Laughs]. But what happens if we go out west… Palm trees and beaches and bikinis whatever, and you got this kid from Hill Rock Heights who’s a legend in his neighbourhood, and it’s growing and it’s becoming, you know… as more and more people become aware of he’s out there, what happens then? I think there’s a lot of bad dudes we can clean up with the Ghost Rider on our side. Let’s see it, let’s make it happen.”
Ghost Rider on the beach with bikinis? Alrighty then.
You can check out the full interview with Luna below as he also talks about what it was like to be cast as Robbie Reyes, and also how he found inspiration from different pop culture character, and also which Marvel characters he wants to team up with.
Last Updated: October 11, 2016