We live in a world right now where the most random bit of news, picture, quote, or tweet can turn into whatever that individual person wants it to be. Thanks to the dominant place in our culture that the internet has, anyone can voice their opinion about anything and be heard by someone. This is not always the best thing. It is always fun to look at rumors and speculate who an actor could be playing or think about what future characters should join certain properties, but there comes a point where it needs to end there. Speculation and wishful thinking are one thing, but turning these essentially into rumors are not good for fans, who will later be disappointed, or the creators, who are being dealt an unwinnable hand.
Over the last few weeks, there has been heavy speculation online about the possibility of Ghost Rider making his way to the small screen, but not in the way most fans want. He has long been rumored to get a Netflix series in the “Phase 2” portion of the Netflix universe, but there has yet to be any traction to those reports. Recently, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started to promote their now confirmed presence at San Diego Comic-Con with the following attraction.
Instantly, this train gave fans the hope that Ghost Rider and his iconic flaming chain would be making an MCU debut on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with plenty of sites attributing this hope as an actual possibility. We can’t say for certainty that it won’t happen – but we should learn soon – but it still seemed unlikely at that point. Fast forward to yesterday, and a new report came out saying that the show is casting Hispanic brothers. That detail may not seem like much at first, until people realized that it fits the description of Robbie and Gabe Reyes – the former the latest iteration of Ghost Rider and the latter being his disabled brother. As if this wasn’t enough to garner interest from fans, a somewhat recent tweet from former One Directioner Zayn Malik led many to believe he’d be involved. (If you’ll recall, the comics version of Robbie was inspired by Malik.)
You can marvel what I say, as you ghost ride away
— zayn (@zaynmalik)
Normally, I would be all for people to theorize that this could happen, but this one sticks out like a non-possibility to me. First of all, a Ghost Rider Netflix series has been rumored for over a year, and even more recently in May, so why would Marvel allow a show that only the most devout Marvel fans still watch to use such a highly coveted character? Sure, it could be a case where Marvel wants to save the series, but the new 10 p.m. time slot does not bode well for that and Marvel Studios has done little to anything to show a sense of comradery towards their television counterpart. If we take the bait and believe that Ghost Rider could come to show, the thought process that ABC would A) want Zayn to play the character, and B) have the money to get a very famous person in pop culture in the role do not line up. Zayn has never acted before and has a budding music career, so why would he join the show as his first acting gig? Doesn’t make sense. As for the thing that started it all, the flaming chain on the train is most likely just a signal that Hellfire (Axle Whitehead) could be playing a bigger role next season.
Of course, the Zayn speculation is one thing. The Robbie Reyes thing is another. While the TV Line casting information is a lot more notable than the chain that had many ready to say Ghost Rider was confirmed for season four of S.H.I.E.L.D., this is still S.H.I.E.L.D. we’re talking about here. They tend to bring in more original characters than they do comic book characters. (I say this as someone that enjoys the series.) Sure, Daisy Johnson, Absorbing Man, Mr. Hyde, YoYo Rodriguez, Hellfire, and Mockingbird are comic characters that have appeared on the show, but for the most part, they’ve been altered to fit the series. (Mr. Hyde being the best example of this.) Which is why I’m still wary at them deciding to bring in such a big name character like Ghost Rider – even if it is the All New version of the character.
In the end, as much as I’d like to believe that the casting information about the two brothers, as well as the fiery chain are proof of Ghost Rider making his way to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – I’m still pretty hesitant. So until we get more concrete evidence of Ghost Rider’s impending arrival? I’d say try to remain cautiously optimistic here. Don’t set your hopes too high. Does this mean that it won’t happen? Of course not. But for now, these reports claiming the character is headed to the small screen are nothing more than rumors and speculation.
We should (hopefully) know by the end of SDCC whether or not he will appear in the show, but until then let us know your thoughts on this in the comments below!