After a stint on Agents of SHIELD, Gabriel Luna was set to reprise his role in a Ghost Rider series for Hulu that ultimately was canceled. The news came suddenly. His take on the Spirit of Vengeance became very popular. So, the news that a Ghost Rider series was in development pleased many. Equally, the abrupt news of the show’s cancellation also surprised fans but not so pleasantly. At the time, educated speculation suggested that Kevin Feige’s promotion to Chief Creative Officer at Marvel, specifically how it affected Marvel Television, was to blame. Well, in a new interview, Luna revealed what he knows (or is allowed to say) about what went down.
Luna is currently doing press for the Terminator: Dark Fate home release. It is the best Terminator sequel in decades and, sadly, a box office flop. Given how disappointing the film was to its parent studio, it’s no surprise that Luna is eager to talk about anything else. Parsing what Gabriel Luna said, we can tell that the Ghost Rider series was only in early pre-production before it was canceled. Luna himself was still training for the role, preparing his “mind” and “body” for the demands of the role. He had a “holding contract” with Marvel in advance of filming the pilot.
Gabriel Luna Reveals Why the Ghost Rider Series Ended Up Canceled (And It’s What We Thought)
Image via ABC
Ghost Rider’s life (er, afterlife) onscreen is a direct result of the leaps made in CGI special effects. The Nicolas Cage films in the early 2000s focused on Johnny Blaze, but fans didn’t connect with them. Thus when the character came to Agents of SHIELD in the fourth season, the mantle was passed from (an unseen) Blaze to Robbie Reyes. The canceled Ghost Rider series would have followed Gabriel Luna in that role after his time on the show. (Though, it was also rumored that the series wouldn’t really connect to Agents of SHIELD at all.) Nonetheless, Luna proved he could carry the role. Also, the look of the character arguably surpassed the look from the films.
Either way, Luna would have become the definitive Ghost Rider for the MCU. Yet, since Kevin Feige has an affection for the character, Marvel Studios may have other plans.
As Luna told Comicbookmovie.com:
“…I was waiting for us to do the show and then a lot happened that wasn’t in our control unfortunately, namely there was the merging of the television and film divisions over at Marvel. A lot of stuff was happening with that, stuff that I couldn’t control, and I think in the restructuring of all of that, something with our production just fell by the wayside. But, that’s the business, man…. I love Ghost Rider and I wish I could’ve gotten to play him again, but it is what it is. I think Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does really well on streaming, so people still get to see the work we put in, which makes me happy.”
It seems strange that while the Gabriel Luna Ghost Rider series ended up canceled, Helstrom will debut soon. When the cast for the animated MODOK series was announced, Hulu also announced that two other series, Tigra & Dazzler and Howard the Duck were, essentially, canceled. Still, Helstrom has four episodes completed, according to Hulu head Craig Erwich at the TCA Winter showcase. He promised the series would be “a different corner of the Marvel Universe in terms of horror.”
It seems like the Ghost Rider series would have fit in very well with that, but there seem to be no plans to go forward with that character. (At least, with Gabriel Luna in the title role.) Still, there are plenty other Ghost Rider and the Spirits of Vengeance characters who could pop up elsewhere in the MCU.
What do you think? Do you wish they hadn’t canceled the Gabriel Luna Ghost Rider series? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via ABC
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.