Agents Of SHIELD's Ghost Rider Actor Explains Why The Spin-Off Show Never Happened

May 1, 2019, was a big day for fans of the character Ghost Rider, as it was announced that the Robbie Reyes version of the character from "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." was getting a spin-off series, with Gabriel Luna set to reprise the role. On that same day, a "Helstrom" series was also announced, with both shows set to debut on Hulu. "Helstrom" ultimately aired one season that barely made a blip on anyone's radar, while "Ghost Rider" never came to be. Luna, in a new interview, has delved into why.

In a larger piece on celebrating the character, Luna discussed the "Ghost Rider" show that never was. Luna debuted as the lesser-known Robbie Reyes version of the antihero on ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." an proved to be an instant hit. As it turns out, Luna's initial contract was apparently signed with the goal to build up to a spin-off series, with the now-defunct Marvel Television exercising its hold clause following the show's season 4 premiere, in which Reyes arrived. In essence, this means they were paying Luna to wait in the wings so that he would be available once the show got off the ground. Sadly, this never ended up happening, and much of it has to do with Marvel Studios gaining more control of the TV side of things.

Marvel Television Closes Its Doors

After finishing a run on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Luna began developing a "Ghost Rider" show with the brass at Marvel Television. Little did they know that the division focusing on the small screen Marvel adventures would be scrapped not long after, paving the way for the show's demise. Luna says the follow-up was a slow process:

"A year goes by and we were still trying to find the right showrunner and meanwhile they're picking up my hold again, so every six months, they would give me my fee to keep them in first position. And I just really loved that character. I really loved the people I was working with, so I elected to grant them that, always with the promise that we'd get there. We'd get this show across the finish line."

Much changed after Disney closed its massive deal to acquire most of Fox's media assets. That paved the way for Disney+, which is now home to MCU shows like "WandaVision" and "Loki," which are heavily tied to the movies. "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and other Marvel Television productions were, at best, tangentially connected to the MCU. If at all. The decision was made to close down Marvel Television and funnel TV duties to Marvel Studios, with Kevin Feige driving the ship.

Interestingly, this all happened right around the time that Hulu gave the green light to "Ghost Rider." At first, things still seemed to be going okay. Luna adds:

"We were in full pre-production at that point now that Disney owned Fox and we had the Hulu relationship, that all would work out. I was doing everything in my power to make sure my mind and body were all prepared for a few-month-long engagement trying to get our show up."

The MCU Takes Precedent

With Marvel Studios taking active control of the TV side of the MCU, much changed, and fast. Shows like "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" were the future. "Ghost Rider" simply didn't fit into that equation. Jeph Loeb, the former head of Marvel Television, was ousted, and not long after, virtually all of the former studio's productions were either canceled or put on hold. "Runaways," "Cloak and Dagger," "Howard the Duck," "Tigra and Dazzler," the list goes on. But "Ghost Rider" may well be the biggest dagger in the heart for a great many fans.