Merging sci-fi and fantasy has been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s DNA ever since Nick Fury asked Thor to join Iron Man in some combo called The Avengers. Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD may be on TV, but it exists in that same universe and has even had a few Asgardian guest stars. And yet when it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that supernatural Marvel character Ghost Rider was to join the show, there were still some raised eyebrows out about he would fit into the show’s own more tech-thriller vibe. Especially when the end of season three hinted that androids were going to be major element of season four, and you can’t get more sci-fi than that.
Don’t worry, say showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen – the conflict between the supernatural and super-science will actually form part of the season’s ongoing plot
“You’ll see this in the movies that are coming,” teased Whedon, possibly referring to how Dr Strange’s world will be incorporated into the MCU. “In Thor they famously said, ‘Magic is just science we don’t understand.’ The MCU started with Iron Man, who is a guy who built a suit; a smart guy built a suit. And then when you put Thor into that world, it started to be like, ‘How are these things going to work?’ And they worked! So they started to open up into the world of the fantastic, and we will be doing that this year in terms of sort of trying to blend the two and trying to see if there are things we don’t understand, why, and then meanwhile we’re building things that we do understand, that maybe we start to lose our understanding of them.”
“This is exactly what our team may be asking as they encounter something like Ghost Rider. We’ll basically be trying to science why,” says Tancharoen.
“It’s the question we were asking in the room of writers on day one,” add Whedon. “We’re going to slowly start to develop some very advanced technology this season, and maybe – as that becomes more advanced and we have strange people… possessed people – those things somehow merge down the line.” [via Comic Book Resources]
Meanwhile, head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb tells ComicBook.com why they decided to go with the car-driving Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider rather than the original bike-riding Johnny Blaze.
“Not only is it exciting to be able to tell people that it’s Robbie Reyes, but that we have this unbelievably cool car, that 1969 black Charger… We picked Robbie, actually, because our show, at the end of day, is always about family, and the fact that Robbie’s relationship with Gabe [Robbie’s learning disability brother] is so much a part of his character, and the world of east LA, which is not a place that we’ve ever gone to in the Marvel universe, was just a really exciting way.”
There is also some expectation that with the show being broadcast at 10pm instead of 9pm next season in the States, that it may be allowed to become a little grittier, and more like its Netflix Marvel stablemates. Agents of SHIELD star Clark Gregg for one welcomes that idea. “Now that we’re at 10 o’clock, we’re heading in a darker direction, which means it will fit a little bit better with the other properties, ” he says, jokingly adding, “So there’s going to be lots of crossovers this year with Netflix! I’m in trouble now!” [via ComicBookResources]