Not all that long ago, Marvel was still scrambling to re-acquire the rights to a lot of their characters from various movie studios. Somewhat recently they managed to get back the rights to several notable characters like The Punisher and Ghost Rider. The former is already being put to use over on the Netflix side of things, but the latter is still looking for a home in the MCU. It turns out, he may have found one on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. next season.
According to a new casting call that was uncovered by Comicbook.com, it looks like the producers for season 4 of S.H.I.E.L.D. are looking for a coupel of actors who fit the bill of a more recent version of Ghost Rider, but not the Johnny Blaze version the movie going public became familiar with via a pair of really bad Nicolas Cage movies. The casting notice calls for a pair of Latino brothers. One of them who is classified as "the most dangerous person in the room" and the other who is "paralyzed in a wheelchair." That description sounds undeniably similar to the 2014 Ghost Rider series that Marvel Comics published under the Marvel NOW! Initiative.
That particular book centered on a pair of Latino brothers named Robbie and Gabe Reyes. In the comics, it is Robbie who gets the Ghost Rider powers after a run in with a bad guy Dr. Zabo and his hit squad, who blow him up in a car. He is then brought back to life by a spirit named Eli Morrow, who endows him with the skills and powers associated with Ghost Rider. The series focus a lot more on the relationship between the brothers, and how much Robbie cares about Gabe and does what he can to ensure his comfort and safety. He also gets to drive a sweet, superpowered Dodge Charger, as opposed to the more classic motorcycle.
In addition to the staggering similarities between the casting call and the 2014 Ghost Rider comic book, there was another clue we were given recently that led many to speculate that the character may be joining up with the S.H.I.E.L.D. gang next season. Recently, a trolley in downtown San Diego got wrapped as a form of promotion for season 4 of the show, in honor of the upcoming San Diego Comic Con. The wrap heavily featured the fiery chain, most commonly associated with Ghost Rider. Many assumed that the chain couldn't have been a Ghost Rider tease, because S.H.I.E.L.D. felt like the wrong place for the character, and he is pretty dark. Plus, it could have easily belonged to Hellfire, who carries a similar chain and already has a history with the show.
This latest casting announcement seems to almost confirm that the newer version of Ghost Rider will appear in the show, or it would just be a hardcore, kind of messed up tease on Marvel's part. That would also mean that Marvel Studios could still move ahead with a Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider reboot elsewhere, either as a movie or a Netflix series, which has been rumored to be possibly in the cards. If Ghost Rider is actually going to be in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. next season, we will almost surely get a confirmation at SDCC this year, so we probably won't have to wait that long to find out.