‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Showrunners Explain Robbie Reyes Choice

When most people think of Ghost Rider, they think of stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who became the Rider when he sold his soul to the devil (as he thought). So why did Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. go with Robbie Reyes‘ newer, much less well-known incarnation?

According to an interview with THR, this wasn’t just a random choice. It wasn’t even because, as executive producer Jed Whedon joked, Nicolas Cage wasn’t interested. Instead, EPs Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, and Marvel’s head of TV, Jeph Loeb, say that it’s all about the story opportunities that Reyes’ backstory provides. These center around the theme of family. Says Loeb,

At the end of the day, S.H.I.E.L.D. is really a show about family […], about a group of people who come together because they have no one else in their lives.

[…]Robbie’s story, in its inception, is the story of an older brother who’s looking after his younger brother, and then how the world of the Ghost Rider changes that dynamic. That’s true of any Marvel hero. We begin in a place where it’s something we can all relate to, and then something extraordinary happens to them, not that they’ve even asked for it. What we’ll find out along the way is Robbie’s journey now that he has the burden of being the Ghost Rider, what that does and more importantly how that affects our cast at S.H.I.E.L.D.

Tancharoen adds that Robbie Reyes’ newness as a character is also an advantage. There isn’t a lot of material in the comics about this version of the Rider, which means the writers can add their own ideas. Plus, she says, “[J]ust the fact that he is a young kid who grew up on the streets of East L.A., we liked that backstory. We like seeing a character like that in the mix of our team.”

Personally, the addition of Ghost Rider has been sounding more and more promising, and like it will really add to the family dynamic of the show. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. begins its fourth season on Thursday, September 20, at 10pm on ABC.